Back to Basics

I keep getting dragged down to the roots of computer science and other disciplines. If you set out to write a Better Development Environment, you’ll pretty quickly slide away from code-related problems into general problems such as “information visualization” and “cognitive studies”. Playing with programming languages, it’s amazing how quickly everything interesting reduces to theorem proving. In a way, it’s disappointing because it means there’s less virgin territory out there than you’d expect. It means that you’re often better off heading for a library and spending a few hours reading rather than hacking “something new”. Sometimes I feel that I spend more time “reading” than “doing”, because so much of what I could write has already been done before in a research project somewhere.