Alan N. Shapiro, Visiting Professor in Transdisciplinary Design, Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen, Germany

Blog and project archive about transdisciplinary design, media theory and creative coding

Towards a New Computer Science: Instantiate a Much Richer Software Instance

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co-author: Alexis Clancy

In this group of 5 coding projects, the core operations of what we call the Limerick Metric will be developed.

Where does the New Computer Science stand in relation to the prevailing software development paradigm of Object-Orientation (UML, C++, Java, etc.) ?

The New Computer Science both respects and radicalizes Object-Orientation.

Object-Orientation is an essential prerequisite to the New Computer Science.

Yet Object-Orientation has the limitation that it has continued mainly to be a technical practice, stuck in the binary opposition between technique and culture.

Yet in many important books on Object-Orientation, it becomes more and more evident that the Design Patterns that are formalized also describe contemporary cultural realities.

We will build a cultural perspective directly into the design of the New Computer Science, which will be an extension of  Object-Orientation.

For us, there is no wall between technique and culture.

The software instance or software object is the piece of executable code that is the primary entity of computer science, either in Object-Orientation or in the New Computer Science.

Make a livelier and more powerful software instance.

Change the software instance at its inception, and you will have a New Computer Science.

Change the software instance at its inception, and you will have radically pragmatic Artificial Life, not some fanciful pie in the sky.

In extant Object-Orientation, the characteristics conferred on the software object at the moment of its inception include the instance’s attributes, operations, memory state, inter-object messaging or event protocols, and associative and aggregational relationships with other distributed objects.

In extant Object-Orientation, software instantiation institutes a temporary relationship between an ordered ranking of software classes and the created software object, which is a parameter- and data-specified instance of those determining classes.

This is a productive software instance.

But the software instance wants to be creative, not just productive.

Forget the binary oppositions production/creation, productivity/creativity.

Existing software works with only one kind of time: chronological, metronomic, tick-tock.

But there are three kinds of time: Metronome, Elastic, and Superfast.

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