Discovery and Design
Discovery and Design
This book is about a paradigm shift in the development of software; a move to a new era of design for software (and, for that matter, all manufactured artifacts). The goal of Part I is to lay out the scientific and technological foundations for this new era of design. In the chapter just concluded, we have seen how the Legend of science has become tarnished. During the stored-program computer’s brief history, we observe the general perceptions of science and scientific knowledge undergoing a fundamental change. I have focused on the philosophy of science because that tells us something about the theoretical limits of science; it suppresses the details of the day-to-day conduct of science that make it such a successful enterprise. This reassessment of science, of course, has been independent of the growth of computing; indeed, my examination has been free of any technological considerations. From the perspective of computer science, much of this revolution has gone unnoticed. Many still walk in the pathways first laid out in the era of the Legend; some even try to fit computer science into the framework of the Received View. If the conclusions of Chapter 2 are valid, however, such approaches cannot be sustained indefinitely. Therefore, any response to the evolving understanding of science ultimately must lead to a reexamination of computer science. If we are to shift the software design paradigm, we must expect modifications to the underlying principles embedded in computer science. How will these changes take place? will there be new scientific findings that alter the technology, or will a shift in the technology modify what the computer scientists study? To gain insight into the answers to these questions, this chapter addresses the relationship between science and technology and, in particular, between computer science and software engineering. As in the previous chapter, I conduct a broadly based, general review. The traditional relationship between science and engineering normally is described as being causal. Science creates knowledge, and technology consumes knowledge. This has been depicted as an assembly line: “Put money into pure science at the front end of the process.
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