[Humanist] 30.393 flowcharts

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Oct 7 07:50:40 CEST 2016


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 30, No. 393.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Ken Kahn <toontalk at gmail.com>                             (57)
        Subject: Re:  30.388 flowcharts?

  [2]   From:    Manfred Thaller <manfred.thaller at uni-koeln.de>            (72)
        Subject: Re:  30.388 flowcharts?

  [3]   From:    Maximilian Schich <maximilian at schich.info>                (63)
        Subject: Re:  30.388 flowcharts?

  [4]   From:    Gabriel Egan <mail at gabrielegan.com>                       (24)
        Subject: Re:  30.388 flowcharts?

  [5]   From:    Igor Kramberger <k at aufbix.org>                            (33)
        Subject: Re: flowcharts


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2016 08:05:13 +0100
        From: Ken Kahn <toontalk at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  30.388 flowcharts?
        In-Reply-To: <eed46a6c-b878-44e8-b329-14c89cb34718 at HUB04.ad.oak.ox.ac.uk>


I was encouraged to create flowcharts when I first learned computer science
starting in 1969 and I felt they were a waste of time. When I learned of
data flow diagrams I felt dissatisfied as well. I think that the problem
with both of them is that nearly all processes are about how both data and
control flow and focusing on only one at a time is rarely helpful.

Best,

-ken kahn

On 6 October 2016 at 07:18, Humanist Discussion Group <
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 30, No. 388.
>             Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                        www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                 Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>
>
>         Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2016 07:09:41 +0100
>         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>         Subject: flowcharts
>
>
> At the moment I am working on the history of flowcharting and related
> practices, in part to discover what those practices are and how they may
> be considered related. The organizational chart is an example of a close
> relation; a map showing movement of goods, services, people is an
> example of a distant one, I would suppose. But my question here is
> strictly focused on the fading away of flowcharting (if indeed it has
> faded away) as a programming practice.
>
> I'm aware that there are programming practices in which it would never
> occur to the programmer to use one. I'd suppose that flowchart-like
> whiteboard sketches are still used to think through a programming
> design. What I am supposing has gone for good is the detailed flowchart
> made before a programming task begins, except perhaps in a large
> organization where the programming is divided into separate groups. In
> situations in which a programmer and a client meet to work out what
> might be done, does the flowchart ever come into use as a medium of
> thinking through the computational process?
>
> In the good/bad old days technically minded academics occasionally
> published flowcharts in their papers, e.g. in Dell Hymes, ed., The Use
> of Computers in Anthropology (The Hague: Mouton, 1965). I'd be very
> surprised if that has happened this century but would love to be
> contradicted.
>
> Can anyone help with real-life experience? I'd especially like to know
> what anyone thinks a flowchart communicates -- tacitly, subliminally as
> well as explicitly and rationally -- to the non-technically minded scholar.
>
> Thanks very much.
>
> Yours,
> WM
> --
> Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
> Humanities, King's College London; Adjunct Professor, Western Sydney
> University


--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2016 09:08:53 +0200
        From: Manfred Thaller <manfred.thaller at uni-koeln.de>
        Subject: Re:  30.388 flowcharts?
        In-Reply-To: <20161006061851.B75A27F39 at digitalhumanities.org>


Dear Willard,

an interesting question. My instinctive response would be, that 
flow-charting has simply been replaced by UML notations (some of which 
clearly show flow-charting inheritance).

I know from reviewing activities, that at least in the cultural heritage 
sector (digital libraries of all stripes plus preservation) UML diagrams 
are in the meantime quite frequent in - for obvious reasons unquotable 
-funding applications. Admittedly they seem not yet to have made it very 
much into publications: Nevertheless at DH2016 Fujimoto and Horiuchi, 
"Standardized Digital workflow for Archiving Local Knowledge" (see 
volume of abstracts, p. 519 ff.) use an UML activity diagram and refer 
more generally to UML. While this comes clearly from the digital 
archives background already referred to, in the same volume Neuber, 
"Stefan George Digital: Exploring Typography In a Digital Scholarly 
Edition", p. 637, refers to UML in a more general, though somewhat 
opaque way to UML as a candidate for modeling typographical information.

My assumption would be, that flow charts have morphed into various types 
of UML diagrams not only in software technology, but also in the way 
software technology is reflected within interdisciplinary writing. So it 
might be worthwhile not only to look for flowcharts in the strict sense, 
but also to their inheritance.

Best,
Manfred

-- 
Prof. em. Dr. Manfred Thaller
Zuletzt Universität zu Köln /
Formerly University at Cologne



--[3]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2016 02:36:10 -0500
        From: Maximilian Schich <maximilian at schich.info>
        Subject: Re:  30.388 flowcharts?
        In-Reply-To: <20161006061851.B75A27F39 at digitalhumanities.org>


https://xkcd.com/1488/
https://xkcd.com/1688/
...
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Category:Flowcharts

mxs


-- 

Dr. Maximilian Schich
Associate Professor, Arts & Technology
Founding member, The Edith O'Donnell Institute of Art History

The University of Texas at Dallas
800 West Campbell Road, AT10
Richardson, Texas 75080 – USA
US phone: +1-214-673-3051
EU phone: +49-179-667-8041

www.utdallas.edu/atec/schich/  http://www.utdallas.edu/atec/schich/ 
www.schich.info  http://www.schich.info 
www.cultsci.net  http://www.cultsci.net 

Current location: Dallas, Texas



--[4]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2016 10:20:04 +0100
        From: Gabriel Egan <mail at gabrielegan.com>
        Subject: Re:  30.388 flowcharts?
        In-Reply-To: <20161006061851.B75A27F39 at digitalhumanities.org>

Dear Willard

I think flowcharts must be judged to be helpfully
communicative to the non-technical scholar, since
they remain in use to help all sorts of people reach
a decision. For example, the Committee on Publication
Ethics has a bunch of them on their website to help
journal editors decide what to do if they suspect
plagiarism or other malpractice in a submission.
Likewise, the Higher Education Funding Council
for England recently used a flowchart to help
academics decide which open access regulations
applied to each of their publications.

But I guess you might not consider these to be
true 'flowcharts' in the programming sense because
(unless the designer really screwed up) they do not
include reiteration of any one action. They are
more like 'decision trees' used in Machine Learning.

I can report that I know non-technical people who have
found the above two examples very helpful in
communicating a complex set of rules.

Regards

Gabriel Egan
Centre for Textual Studies
De Montfort University



--[5]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2016 15:51:46 +0200
        From: Igor Kramberger <k at aufbix.org>
        Subject: Re: flowcharts
        In-Reply-To: <20161006061851.B75A27F39 at digitalhumanities.org>


Good afternoon!

You asked with your final comment:
> Can anyone help with real-life experience? I'd especially like to know
> what anyone thinks a flowchart communicates -- tacitly, subliminally as
> well as explicitly and rationally -- to the non-technically minded scholar.
I would assume there must be some need for this kind of diagramming, 
becaues there is even an application which contains as part of its 
functionality flowcharting in the narrow scope / sense you are thinking 
about it:
<https://www.omnigroup.com/omnigraffle>

I stored somewhere in my apartment in Slovenia even an old green plastic 
model with the basic shapes for the flowcharting – to be used together 
with a pencil when drawing the flowchart on the paper. My aunt used it 
at her job somewhere at the end of the 60-ies or at the beginning of the 
70-ies when she was employed at an automotive factory in Maribor. An 
IBM-mainframe computer was used at that time to support the economic 
policy of the factory. Unfortunately, I have no idea how she used the 
flowcharts and what was the relation between the uses of flowcharts and 
the mainframe.  She gave me this model as a gift more than 40 years ago.

Kind regards,

Igor
----------------------
Igor Kramberger
k at aufbix.org

Koroška cesta 63, SI-2000 Maribor
c/o Tomšič, Ulica Toma Brejca 11 a, SI-1241 Kamnik
Slovenija

Rochusstraße 9, D-40479 Düsseldorf
Deutschland

Evropa






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