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Brian Foote, Software Ethologist

 Brian  Foote

Brian's research interests include object-oriented programming, design, reuse, languages, frameworks, software architecture, patterns, reflection, metalevel architecture, and software evolution, for starters. I've managed to come up with electronic copies of all my publications and workshop position papers (and several talks as well) going back to 1985.

Brian has electronic copies of all his publications and workshop position papers (and several talks as well) going back to 1985.

These can be accessed via the links on Brian's website. These are organized into the following categories. Some probably belong in more than one category. Direct hypertext links are given for papers for which HTML versions exist (such as Designing Reusable Classes). Links to versions in other formats are given after each paper's pseudo-bibliographic entry.

Brian's website: http://www.laputan.org/

Presentation: "Objects On Trial"

Time: Wednesday 09:20 - 10:20

Location: Metropolitan Ballroom

Abstract:  It’s been a quarter of a century since objects really arrived on the software scene, with great fanfare, lofty expectations, and more than a little hype. One can argue, and there are those who do, that objects have won. That their triumph is complete. That object-oriented programming has become, well, programming. And yet, the case can be made that this “victory” has come at a cost that must be measured against the conceptual complexity these highbrow languages have brought with them, the architectural Balkanization and “Trail of Tiers” they have wrought, and the impedance mismatches that have resulted from the Babel of languages that O-O has spawned, and its defeat in the data tier.
Have objects met the transformative promises made for them a generation ago? Or have they done more harm than good?
The time has come to put them on trial. We’ll remand  objects themselves to the dock, and hear from a panel of distinguished, expert witnesses for the prosecution and the defense, before letting the You, the Jury, decide their fate.

Presentation: "Who Ever Said Code was Supposed to be Pretty?"

Time: Wednesday 16:50 - 17:50

Location: Stanford


The cause of programmatic pulchritude has been championed by many over the last forty years, from the Literate Programming boomlet of the seventies, the Architecture craze of the eighties, the Patterns Movement of the nineties, and even the burgeoning Software Crafts movement of the current decade, alas, to little apparent effect. Because, for all our aspirations to the contrary, the de-facto standard software architecture remains, alas, the ubiquitous and enduring “Big Ball of Mud” school of design.

What are the mudslingers doing right? Can a case for code-level hygiene, as opposed to mere functionality, be built on grounds other than mere aesthetic preference? Should one? Do the productivity claims for "clean" hold water?  Can a case be made for cleaner code on occupational safety grounds? Could it be that, in the end, code needs to be attractive for the same reasons flowers do? And in what guise is it software supposed to appear appealing in the first place?

This talk will examine whether there still (or was ever) a place for beauty in code in a bottom-line obsessed age.