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Software with the Quality that Has No Name

Real Name of Submitter: 
Federico Mena Quintero
Company or Project Affiliation: 
Short Bio: 

Federico is one of the founders of the GNOME Project. While learning about software development from everyday experience, and while learning to design and build a house, he ran into the teachings of Christopher Alexander - which he has found useful in many areas since then.

Talk Abstract: 

In the 1970s, Christopher Alexander, a mathematician/architect from the University of Berkeley, researched the question of why there are pleasant and lively places, towns, and buildings, and why they are different from drab, depressing, and unloved ones. He discovered profound results based on human psychology and the way nature works.

Alexander's theory of architecture caught attention from the Computer Science community, and it led to the well-known "Design Patterns" movement. Over time, Alexander's method of design and construction has been applied to many areas of software.

This talk will give a short introduction to Alexander's theory. Then, it will show examples of how it can be applied to design really good software, both in terms of the technical design of the software's structure, and in terms of the end-user design of the user interface.

Presentation slides