Composability

Nearly every time I see something I like, it comes back to composability.

When I can use class methods in Objective-C and Ruby, it’s because the classes themselves have the same capability for virtual dispatch that objects do. When I can mess around with an AST of a language construct, or even redefine the same language as it’s being written, it’s because of reification, which lets concepts be objects.

When I’m happy that I can use ranges or decimal-representation numbers or regular expressions as literals, it’s because they are so obviously one type of built-in object that they deserve their own sort of literals on the same level that strings, arrays and numbers do.

When you take the leap from letting concepts be either hidden inside someone else’s code or opaque and turn them into objects, suddenly you can describe bigger structures or concepts. You can reason about them, arrange them, schedule them, make them aware of each other.

I’m not worried about the state of computer science per se, but the biggest breakthrough that you’ll have personally within the next ten years will all be directly attributable to composability, or the way in which libraries, styles of programming and programming languages change to enable it.

3 thoughts on “Composability”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *