15 years ago, the research journal Human-Computer Interaction published their special issue on Object-Oriented Programming.  Having realized that a lot of the claims made about OOP at the time were not technical in nature, but rather were psychological and cognitive, the special issue attempted to present empirical and experimental research examining the claims about OOPs advantages on procedural programming. Or as the editor Bill Curtis notes: Object-oriented (OO) design and programming trace their lineage to research on abstract data types in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but they did not become popular software development techniques until the late 1980s. In all this time there has been little serious empirical or experimental study of OO techniques. What usually passes for[…]

Wil Shipley has an excellent blog post on how using simple heuristics – ie. less-than-perfect shortcuts to a goal – can improve life significantly, and how we tend to ignore that. He makes a point about user interfaces, but it is good as a general observation:  A good-enough solution that improves life for many people is better than a perfect solution that can’t possibly be made. Also, he points out that classic programming theory will teach you a lot of computer-sciency methods for problem solving, while in real-life are heuristic methods trying to understand user input as good as possible. That, however, I think is because he is a good programmer, not something all programmers come across: I bet the[…]