Future of Coding

72 • Pygmalion by David C. Smith


Listen in your podcast player by searching for Future of Coding, or via Apple Podcasts | Overcast | RSS

If you’re anything like Ivan (oof, sorry), you’ve heard of Pygmalion but never caught more than the gist. Some sort of project from the early 70s, similar to Sketchpad or Smalltalk or something, yet another promising prototype from the early history of our field that failed to take the world by storm. Our stock-in-trade on this show.

But you’ve probably heard of Programming by Demonstration. And you’ve certainly heard of icons — you know, those little pictures that have become indelibly part of computing as we know it. Pygmalion is the originator of these concepts… and more!

The best introduction to Pygmalion is Mariano Guerra’s No-code History: Pygmalion, which includes a clearly articulated summary of the big ideas, motivation, and design, with a video demonstration of the programming interface, key terminology, and links.

The most introduction to Pygmalion — or Pig Million, The Millionth Pig, as it’ll surely come to be known — is the subject of today’s episode: the original paper by David Canfield Smith.

$ We don’t run ads on this show anymore. Sometimes Ivan makes a fake ad for a nonsense product like CarrotGrid or Hest, but those don’t pay for the dirt & vapor we grow them in. But what if they could?

Drawings of an array, triangle, map, and bicycle, accompanied by their words Pictograms of an arm and hand, for yad and kap, the ancestors of letters I and K

Why does it say “Put all the metal back in the ground” at the bottom of the show notes?

Music featured in this episode:

! Send us email, share your ideas in the Slack, and catch us at these normal places:

See you in the future!