All I Do Is Play With Strings

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2024-02-12 13:00:44

In the old days I wrote code to put text in a window, or display a button, or follow a mouse. I had to call functions in a library. Bits and bytes and pointers and things. Very subtle stuff!

Now I just play with strings. Display some text? I put it in a string, surrounded by div tags. Display a button? More strings! Strings that include strings that represent locations of other strings!

One of the first programs I wrote on my first computer poked values into computer chips to change colors and play sounds. I wrote machine code that would activate every time the raster of my TV flew to the top of the screen. My code controlled motors and pulleys. My code read and wrote data on tapes, and disks and later… tapes.

Web apps are exactly the same but totally different. Every web page you see in a web app is created by a program. All the program does is read and write strings.

Its input is a string! A web request, along with information about the request… all whispered to a web server in the form of of strings.

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