I remember when I was a kid, the thrill of seeing a new game or demo effect on my computer. It was a true display of programming ingeniousness, when coders struggled to bend the rules of physics and electronics and squeeze every possible bit of power from these machines.
Then came the PC and with it lazy programming. Now we are witnesses to the absurd such as 1 GHz processors installed in mobile phones, but switching from one menu to another is mysteriously lasting 5 seconds.
Programming is no longer considered an art, but just a way to get things done. If something is slow just buy better hardware, we are all taught to behave in this way.
Like many other things, coding has became a picture of a modern, fast-paced, profit oriented society.
But not everyone gave up. Cult of programming is still alive today thanks to sites like scene.org.
I recently saw a demo from this year's coding competition.
Now you'll watch it and probably say OK it's nice. What if I tell you that the whole demo you just saw fits in 256 bytes of code. 256 bytes or 256 characters is all that is needed to setup exe, initialize graphics, and draw this beautiful 3D pulsating environment. Imagine having at your disposal the equivalent of contents of this and a previous paragraph to produce that kind of stunning animation on the screen of your computer! Now watch that demo again and awe.
If we up the ante to 4096 bytes we come up with this
Amazing? Well not quite when you know that the computer that landed Apollo on the moon also had only 4096 bytes.
In the modern world your pen is likely to have more than that, let alone your watch or a phone which have thousands and millions times as much. But has the world really advanced millions or even thousand times? Not really.
We've simply pushed too many things too far. It's coming the time to go back to the roots.
Posted in: Debate
TAGS:256 byte demo, 256 byte demo competition, 256 byte demo exe, art like programming, art programming, art programming code, code like art, demo effects programming, forgotten art, forgotten programming, have lost programming groove, lazy programming, programming art, programming comment art, programming like art, story forgotten art