Henry Ford is famous for inventing the assembly line, a place where a complex product could be created in a series of repeatable steps. In programming terms, he described an algorithm for producing a motor vehicle. By doing so, he improved the quality and consistency of the final product while at the same time reducing its cost of production.
100 years later, it is information even more than motor cars which drives the progress of society. We have become dependent on complex electronic documents which, like a car, need to be assembled, edited, and used by others in a consistent and repeatable way. Yet no algorithmic processes have been described for document creation, verification, editing, or review.
In this presentation, we’ll explore the idea of looking at the creation of text narratives as a programming process and describe the activities of creating, editing, verifying, and disseminating written documents in algorithmic form.
If a programming language could be developed which described written documents in this way, the art and science of communication could be improved and simplified in the same way as Ford did for automobiles.