Misunderstanding Computers

Why do we insist on seeing the computer as a magic box for controlling other people?
Why do we want so much to control others when we won't control ourselves?

Computer memory is just fancy paper, CPUs are just fancy pens with fancy erasers, and the network is just a fancy backyard fence.
コンピュータの記憶というものはただ改良した紙ですし、CPU 何て特長ある筆に特殊の消しゴムがついたものにすぎないし、ネットワークそのものは裏庭の塀が少し拡大されたものぐらいです。

(original post/元の投稿 -- defining computers site/コンピュータを定義しようのサイト)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

What are APIs?

Posted a riff on the definition of API on Groklaw last night, and copied (with editing) the riff to my main blog. Here is more of a top-down approach:

An API is an abstract definition of the words and grammar (symbols and the way you arrange them) used to interact with (or operate on) a glob of code. It implicitly includes the (human understanding of) the functions performed.

But, you have to remember, when you mix math into the milieu, it makes for a pretty strange stew.

Anything can be a symbol.

C has headers, ideal was to put the API in the headers. Ideal never fully realized.

Java's API element is supposed to be the interface, but it is still not really separable either.

That's the skeleton of the argument, but the flesh of the argument will have to wait. It's the sabbath morning, and I have over-committed myself to work again.

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