DESIGN


IEEE Software, May/June 2009, pp. 5–7

illustration of futuristic architecture 

Creating Sustainable Designs

by Rebecca J. Wirfs-Brock

We value code that's comfortable—where everything fits neatly in place, contributing to its familiarity and ease of understanding. Richard Gabriel, in Patterns of Software (Oxford Univ. Press, 1996), describes software where "developers can feel at home, [and] place their hands on any item without having to think deeply about where it is." He calls such software habitable. So how should we go about creating habitable software? Should we just place our trust in really good software developers, or are there specific design qualities and practices that we should be paying more attention to?

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Novel Computing Architectures
Novel architectures can meet the challenge of shrinking transistor sizes and growing demands for computing power.

Creating Sustainable Designs
Christopher Alexander's concept of centers and properties of living structures can help developers create pleasing, sustainable software designs.

Sketching Tangible Interfaces: Creating an Electronic Palette for the Design Community
The Studierstube ES (Embedded System) software framework allows fast development of augmented-reality applications for mobile phones.

Discovery Systems Check Their Own Facts
Learn about a system called Adam that can make completely automated scientific discoveries.

Secure Cyberspace: Answering the Call for Intelligent Action
No single entity can solve the cybersecurity problem for everyone. The Obama administration’s early review of this challenge is already leading to smart action.

SignTutor: An Interactive System for Sign Language Tutoring
The interactive SignTutor sign-language-instruction system evaluates users' signing and gives multimodal feedback.

Reaping Deep Web Rewards Is a Matter of Semantics
New semantic Web technologies are emerging as viable alternatives to the W3C Semantic Web framework, creating taxonomies and ontologies for deep Web databases.

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