Chapter 23. The Timeless Way of Programming

The architect Christopher Alexander describes a time not so long ago when people knew how to design and build spaces for themselves, uniquely fitted to their own needs and to their climate and culture. Growing up I heard stories of my carpenter great-grandfather. Whenever his family moved to a new town, he would immediately begin doing odd jobs and saving money. When he had enough, he would buy lumber and build a house. My great-grandfather wasn’t trained as an architect, but he knew how to design a house that would suit his family.

Alexander notes that an architect’s selfish interests are not aligned with the client’s. The architect wants to get the job done quickly and win awards, but is missing critical ...

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