Found in 4 comments on Hacker News
mmahemoff · 2013-04-19 · Original thread
Nitpicking here and not taking anything away from Why's mighty contributions, but "first to create art around and about software" is not really accurate.

Look at the contributions of the design patterns community for inspiration, people who have long strived to understand what Christopher Alexander's QWAN ("quality without a name") means to software. A good example is Patterns of Software [1], but also a lot of the C2 wiki has this spirit. Less off-the-wall than Why, but still trying to get at the soul of software.



bitops · 2012-11-09 · Original thread
Very good article, though I doubt it'll convince the usual mass of unbelievers. (I love Lisp, for the record, though my primary exposure has been through Emacs Lisp - so shoot me).

A really great book that helps you get appreciate the concepts in Lisp, without really talking about Lisp directly too much, is "Patterns of Software" by Peter Gabriel.

I found it to be a very enlightening read. Definitely a book you have to sink into with plenty of time and quiet.

drallison · 2011-10-09 · Original thread
The works of Christopher Alexander are worth reading for many fields including computer systems. Along with them, you might find Richard Gabriel's Patterns of Software: Tales from Software Community, now out of print, of interest. There is a Kindle electronic edition:
hugothefrog · 2009-12-02 · Original thread
Christopher Alexander also wrote the introduction to Patterns of Software (

It's a great book, and I've unfortunately only had the time to read a few of the essays.

It's available online as a PDF from

Fresh book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.