Message from discussion GUI library/toolkit recommendation
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Wed, 02 May 2012 11:56:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: GUI library/toolkit recommendation
Date: Wed, 2 May 2012 11:56:03 -0700 (PDT)
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> A computer program is real to the extent that anything else that you call
> "real" is real.
> It can be pinpointed in space, and given enough effort, as precisely as w=
> like. For instance, the program's image can reside on a very specific are=
> disk, and while running, its code and data, at any instant, is in specifi=
> places on specific processor and memory chips.
> It has mass, volume, temperature.
> Would you say that a deck of punched cards driving a silk-weaving loom in=
> weaving a picture is not real? If that is real, why is an electronic comp=
> program not real?
Of course the "program" is not the media - it is the sequential code - it i=
s more ephemeral, for instance I consider that it is like a poem.
Is a poem real if it is written down? You can point the paper and ink. Is=
a poem real if it is not written down? Of course - but now it is like an =
idea. Ideas are real even if not written down and not told to anyone other=
than the original thinker-upper.
But of course the idea/poem/program is at least represented in the brain - =
and presumably the representation occupies media there.
What about an idea/poem/program that has not been developed by any thinking=
being yet? Can it still exist? Can a specific sequence of integers exist=
even though no one has "thought it up" yet?
And if so, are any bits of energy in the universe devoted to it?
Well, I'm off-topic; we were discussing computer programs that certainly ha=
ve already been thought up by people and even transferred to various media =
outside of their bodies.