The Server-Side Pad

by Fabien Tiburce, Best practices and personal experiences with enterprise software

Plato’s Interfaces

leave a comment »

While in university, I and many or my classmates were fortunate to be exposed to some of the greatest texts by some of the greatest minds of western philosophy.   What continues to amaze me to this day is how often I draw on these (somewhat distant) formative years.  Take Pato’s forms for example.  Removed of matter, forms are pure, completely abstract and atemporal.  We understand and recognize the purpose of a table when we see one because we understand and recognize its abstract form, tableness.  Object oriented developers also understand the distinction between an object instance and its “essence”.  They call this essence, this form, an interface.  Software interfaces are essentially platonic forms, abstract, conceptual and devoid of  a physical implementation.  

Plato’s contribution to object oriented programming has never been fully recognized.  We wouldn’t have today’s advanced, declarative and abstract computer programs without the beautiful forms he discovered over 2,000 years ago.    I think credit is long overdue.

Advertisements

Written by Compliantia

March 20, 2009 at 1:29 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: