Welcome to Software Observatory Etherpad!
This pad text is synchronized as you type, so that everyone viewing this page sees the same text.
To prevent this pad from appearing in the etherdump, paste (or leave) the following code:
Warning: DirtyDB is used. This is fine for testing but not recommended for production. -- To suppress these warning messages change suppressErrorsInPadText to true in your settings.json
Based on the discussions on Wednesday, from the question "what is software" to various methods to observe, which could help to map the differences in understanding what software is
and how it can be observed
// note: z.Blace followed up with drafting a text
- mainstream (marketing + popular software)
- software studies
who are we / for who are we
for which communities do we speak?
- FLOSS dev/users
- mainstream marketed/commercial
~ non profit organisations
~ political social agenda
Each of these backgrounds do create different narratives.
perspective of popular mainstream software culture as FLOSS dev >>> lens
perspective > lens > matrix > perspective > etc.
critique > vision > narrative > critique > etc.
- time, histories
* novel trendy/classic
* temporary hack/solution
* historical impact
* trusted & transparent
* vouced for/contract based
* untrusted/nor transparent/nor contract based
- social impact
* bleading edge adoptation
* stable markets
* waled services
Economy could be another axe.
Also, geography could be another axe in the case of Belgium.
To answer the question "what is software" depends on the situation, goal, time, and other contextual influences.
Why spip. cms is more popular in Wallonië than in Flanders? (where it is drupal)
What kind of software was developed in Eastern Europe? Something that came up in the tour with Jan at the UNI of Leuven.
MOS, a Russian UNIX clone.
Some boundaries that appear to be fuzzy when we try to define them (appeared wed. // thurs.):
- fuzzy line between data and software
- fuzzy line between software and hardware
- tollerance to noise, software being less tollerant to changes. That was something that could define software from data.
- fuzzy line between software and signal (signal vs. noise)
- machine learning algorithm and the training data, adaptibility
- forking (when does one software becomes another software?)
- Is a social network a piece of software?
This morning, Jan had difficulties to answer the question "what is software", but he said that he could answer the question "what is good software".
What is good software?
The more adjectives, the easier the answering?
A qualifier like "good", "bad", "spy", "queer", "proletarian", "bourgeisoie" can help narrow down definitions.
Are user now the human computer from before?
The position of the user?
A person walks in the clinic with their computer/smartphone, how do we observe that software?
From the other side: How is your software looking back at you?
Would the metaphor of the anatomic theater help here?
Perhaps the metaphor does not fit, in the way that we cannot look into software (for example cloud based services). Also, cutting open a body to see if it holded a disease, is a very material approach.
But for now we stay with the metaphor, to come up with a better one later.
adding a cqualifier ahead of "software" (i.e. good software, graphical software, os, social software etc) could be helpful when identifying method of examination/observation, may help etsblish/shape perspective
or?? front end/back end
ideology of software package
random astonomical obervation sfotware