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 Post subject: What is programming?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:24 am 
SON OF A GUN
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Quote:
"Programming is planning how to solve a problem. No matter what method is used -- pencil and paper, slide rule, adding machine, or computer -problem solving requires programming. Of course, how one programs depends on the device one uses in problem solving."


http://bytes.com/forum/thread641516.html


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:38 pm 
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I am not a computer programmer. Call me an electron choreographer. :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:02 am 
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I don't really like that definition, but it took me a while to figure out why.

Programming is definitely problem-solving. So, however, is engineering. How do we build a bridge to span this river and support transport trucks? Engineering is 'problem-solving' using physics, chemistry, biology, etc..

Programming is problem-solving using mathematics.

Sorry to nit-pick. It is kinda what I do best. ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:32 pm 
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Jipstyle wrote:
I don't really like that definition, but it took me a while to figure out why.

Programming is definitely problem-solving. So, however, is engineering. How do we build a bridge to span this river and support transport trucks? Engineering is 'problem-solving' using physics, chemistry, biology, etc..

Programming is problem-solving using mathematics.

Sorry to nit-pick. It is kinda what I do best. ;)


I dunno Jip. Looking at the bridge for example could be a civil engineering disapline to design the bridge. Extensive math comes into play, likewise in the Mechanical and Electrical engineering disaplines.

Software written for design task will apply extensive math and is written by... Programmers. Overall though Programming is indeed problem solving.

Ron


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:30 pm 
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Oh, I definitely agree that programming is problem-solving .. I just think that the definition is a bit weak. Engineering is also problem-solving.

You're right that they all use math, though. It is how we measure the world, after all.

I think programming just looks 'purer' because it doesn't involve huge structures or rat guts.

Programming .. problem solving using a computer. Or using a computer to solve problems (which can be problematic in itself, really).

I need to drink less coffee.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:32 pm 
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Engineering and Programming are both problem solving.

The only thing that makes them different is the tools you use to solve problems, and the ultimate product produced by the solutions.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:43 am 
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Software Engineering?

I don't know, software engineering (I thought) was more the design of how to built a prorgam while programming was actuallly *doing* it?

I would sort of consider Engineering and Programming to be quite different. Engineering is problem solving while programming could be creating the problem solving?

They are pretty closely linked I would say, and you can't have programming without engineering. Interesting.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:54 am 
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Well, if you look at it like that, engineering is designing the bridge and programming is 'building' the bridge.

Software engineering is about software design; programming can be less specific than that. Inventing and implementing a new cryptographic algorithm is a good example of programming, while using that code in a VoIP software product is a good example of software engineering.

These definitions are all very fuzzy. CS is still a new discipline and we haven't figured out how to teach it properly, much less put it all into neat little categories.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:05 am 
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From the engineering side, wouldn't we consider the Crypto algorithm a "black box" that provides our "encryption solution" for the VoIP application?

In a very general sense, I almost consider Engineering to be building with black boxes Science discovering black boxes. But who builds the actual black box? Is this the neat little gray area where Science merges with Engineering? (It kind of is how I feel about my Computer Science & Engineering degree. I have the ablility to discover or develop new things and the skill to put all those ideas together, as well as impliment them.)

Thoughts?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:52 pm 
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CrashTECH wrote:
From the engineering side, wouldn't we consider the Crypto algorithm a "black box" that provides our "encryption solution" for the VoIP application?

In a very general sense, I almost consider Engineering to be building with black boxes Science discovering black boxes. But who builds the actual black box? Is this the neat little gray area where Science merges with Engineering? (It kind of is how I feel about my Computer Science & Engineering degree. I have the ablility to discover or develop new things and the skill to put all those ideas together, as well as impliment them.)

Thoughts?


OK here is a thought. The "Black Box" figures into this as well as engineering and programming and other interesting and amusing shit! :lol: This is an actual current project I am working on.

We have an old system that was actually updated in the 1970s. It originally used 1950s technology.

The object is to generate a three phase sine wave with the waves spaced typical at 120 degrees. The frequency is very low in the less than 10 Hz range extending down to below 1 Hz. Pretty slow stuff. Amplitute is adjustable to about 100 Volts RMS and the required current is about 100 Amps RMS.

Years ago this was done by using a small variable speed DC motor to drive a small Synchro Transmitter at slow speeds. There was a nightmare of gears and other things but this gave us the 3 phase signal as a fundamental. No computers this is circa 1950s. The output of the synchro was cleanned up, filtered and amplified to drive the exciitation of a big ass motor generator (actually one large 20 HP motor driving 3 generators on a ganged shaft). Hey it worked. Classic stuff.

During the 70s the system was redesigned and updated. The small motor and synchro transmitter were eliminated and basic computing came into play. They used an EPROM in conjunction with several DACs to make the sine wave. This was the first black box and a maze of machine language made it all work. Think about the creation of a true sine.

The bitch is there is more to all this. Anytime the sine is stopped each waveform must stop in place at its DC level and hold. Anytime a phase is peaked the other two phases had better algebraically add up to the peaked phase. Oh yeah, this signal drives a very special motor therefore I musy be able to reverse any two phases in time to reverse the motor direction. There is more. I need to be able to ramp the current to my motor at several rates as well as change my motor speed by changing the frequencies on the fly within the range I mentioned.

I have another engineer with me on this project. Blake is an excellent programmer in several languages. The electrical engineering for the better part is my forte. Thus far we have a few things working as we develop. The project requires both extensive engineering as well as programming skills. The project requires extensive problem solving.

Ron


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