[Humanist] 30.396 flowcharts
Humanist Discussion Group
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Oct 8 08:12:59 CEST 2016
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 30, No. 396.
Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2016 19:32:03 +0100
From: Simon Rae <simon.rae at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: 30.388 flowcharts?
In-Reply-To: <20161006061851.B75A27F39 at digitalhumanities.org>
Possibly a wee bit off your track, but I remember Jim Haag giving a lecture at the City University in 1975 on a new programming language that used flowcharting as the way in to the skills of coding. I tracked down a reference for a paper in ACM Proceedings that I think talks of the same language:
> Haag, James N., Michael A. Kelly, and Paul F. Sherman. "TWO-D: The
> USF Beginner's Two-Dimensional Programming System." ACM SIGPLAN
> Notices. Vol. 7. No. 10. ACM, 1972
> A programming system, permitting the user to think 100% that he is
> programming with flowchart symbols, is described. This description
> includes the TWO-D syntax, the user's view-point, the CRT-terminal
> output, the overall structure of the simply-designed programming
> system, the file structure used, some design decisions faced, and the
> flowchart of the supervisory program.
At the time I remember that it seemed a nice way of combining the visuals of a process in diagram form with the necessary formal instructions.
> twitter: @simonrae
> retired Lecturer in Professional Development (Open University)
> Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 30, No. 388.
> 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
> 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.
> Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
> Humanities, King's College London; Adjunct Professor, Western Sydney
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