Talk:Ada Lovelace

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Lots of people want to credit her with having written the first computer program or being the first computer programmer, but I think that honor should go to a different person ... possibly also a woman, by the way. --Ed Poor Talk 17:07, 4 April 2011 (EDT)

Please put back the reference to Admiral Grace Hopper. There is a dispute, and until (or unless) we can get to the bottom of it let's outdo Wikipedia and apply some NPOV here.
Hopper wrote working code. Ada Lovelace wrote a lengthy article, some notes which described an algorithm. There's a difference between doing that and actually writing a computer program. For instance, where's her source code?
I know it's trendy to give her credit, but if it's not true it shouldn't be here. If feminists want to say she was way ahead of her time, fine: let's describe exactly what she did, but no "stretchers" please (with apologies to Mark Twain). --Ed Poor Talk 18:27, 5 April 2011 (EDT)
I'm all for giving credit where credit is due (and there's a lot of credit to go around, and Lovelace and Hopper deserve a lot of it), but I don't see the relevance of Ms. Hopper's contributions on the Ada Lovelace page. They were operating in completely different circumstances, 100 years apart. The only thing that I think connects them is that they were both female computer science pioneers. Perhaps there should be a category for women in computer science? Or in science/math/engineering in general? Yes, Hopper wrote working code, while Ada's code never ran and was later found to have a bug. (And Hopper coined that term :-) But Hopper really wasn't the first person to write code, or working code, or code for an electronic computer, or code for a stored-program electronic computer. She was perhaps the first to see the benefits of high-level languages, and to write a compiler for same. And she may well have been the first person to write working computer code in a high-level language.
If you still think Grace Murray Hopper should be referenced in this article, by all means do so. SamHB 20:21, 6 April 2011 (EDT)
Ada Lovelace didn't write code. Also,
  • It is often suggested that Ada was the world's first programmer. This is nonsense: Babbage was, if programmer is the right term. [1]
People who promote women in science have been calling Ada Lovelace the first programmer to get a role model for girls. It hasn't been working: the computer science is still dominated by men, despite no evidence of discrimination against women.
Also, Hopper didn't coin the term "bug". She may have been the first to apply it to a computer problem, though.
If you want to help, stop editorializing and do some of the research, okay? --Ed Poor Talk 12:11, 7 April 2011 (EDT)

More problems

ADA is widely used for the US Department of Defense. For some types of programming, I've heard they won't allow any other language. We need an ADA article about this programming language.

The lede starts off with an editorial. Most of this should be moved to a Conservapedia:Debate page. The present article should stick to the facts.

We can list several prominent people or organizations who promote the "first programmer" meme, but we shouldn't endorse it at this point. --Ed Poor Talk 23:02, 10 April 2011 (EDT)

edit conflict

I believe this is the first time I've gotten one!

Sorry. I rewrote the page in an editor and attempted to upload the whole thing. It looks as though your changes were fairly similar to mine. I don't have time to analyze in detail; it's getting very late. (EST). So I figured the best thing was to just overwrite you. We can now both see what the other was doing. I'll look at it in more detail tomorrow, of course. Please look at my changes also.

Please don't take this as "reverting a sysop".

SamHB 00:42, 15 April 2011 (EDT)

I appreciate your devotion to this topic. See you tomorrow. --Ed Poor Talk 00:44, 15 April 2011 (EDT)

OK, I've put up a new version, that I hope is a proper synthesis of what we have been doing. As I said in my email to you last night (when I couldn't edit because the server was being far too flaky) the issues of feminism or being a "role model for girls" is really not an important issue relative to Ada's work. So I have briefly mentioned this issue in a paragraph near the end. These contemporary social issues may deserve a page or debate page of their own, but this article should be about what Ada did in 1843. SamHB 10:33, 16 April 2011 (EDT)

At Wikipedia, they might say that the issues of feminism or being a "role model for girls" are really not an important issue, and that only Ada's work should be described. However, her only claim to fame is that she's considered the "world's first computer programmer". And I daresay if that title were given to a man she'd be much more obscure.
So what I'd like us to do is:
  • 75% - tell who she was and what she did
  • 25% - tell how modern people are using her as a role model, etc., to advance agendas such as encouraging girls and women to choose science careers
The whole idea of affirmative action is based on the assumption that men and women should take an equal share in all activities, whether it's child-rearing, housework, the military, or science. But the fact is that women don't want this. Oh, they're often happy to have hubby do the household chores, but forcing people to go against their inherent feminine (or masculine) nature isn't good for them - or society.
Of course, this raises the issue of whether men and women have any inherent mental differences: intellectual, emotional, or volitional. Is "Nothing thinks like a dame" merely Broadway rhetoric (sorry, Rodgers and Hammerstein) indicative of the prejudice of ignorant sailors, or was Lawrence Summers right? --Ed Poor Talk 14:08, 16 April 2011 (EDT)

I'd really appreciate it if we could minimize the amount of discussion about feminism, affirmative action, inherent differences, etc on the Ada page, and discuss them on the "women in science" page, which I am about to create. This page should be about the technical issues. If Ada's work is to be criticized on this page, it should be on technical grounds. If people are inappropriately using her as a feminist role model, then, by all means, say so. But please do it on a page in which the issues of feminism, innate differences, etc. can be explored deeply and openly, not on the page of an obscure 19th century mathematician. Computer Barbie???? Yuck! SamHB 15:04, 11 June 2011 (EDT)