data, objects, documents, code, etc

glen e. p. ropella (
Tue, 17 Feb 1998 12:23:24 -0700

The whole discussion on dist-obj/fork about whether documents
are objects and the difference between data and code seems

Both data and code are fossilized behavior. One cannot
specify behavior in a static medium any more than one can
identify data in a dynamic medium.

Whether one is distinguishing between data and code by saying
that "Code is expensive and data is ephemeral" or "... as platform
half-lives collaps, externalized data lasts longer and longer by
comparison", it's still a distinction between code and data.
And this distinction is false.

And, finally, to express an unfounded opinion without shame...
the way this entire enterprise, which we might describe as "the
transduction of cognitive processes into linguistic formalisms",
should be viewed is as an archaeological side effect of human
evolution... no more, no less. And until we transcend the crutch
of anthropomorphism that leads to false distinctions like the one
between data and code, we will not achieve "real", extant,
behavioral systems in software. That transcendance will not come
out of the transduction of our cognitive processes into linguistic
bit-streams. It will come from the evolution of processes independent
of our cognitive processes and linguistic formalisms.

In other words, we are going to have to cut things much much
finer than "object", "data", or "code" in order to get at anything
useful, here.


Glen E. Ropella                  (505) 424-0448
Hail Eris!