Peter Hilton - Speaking & training

Better source code through typography

A retrospective on the one aspect of coding that we don’t change

Agile methods taught us to embrace change in nearly all aspects of software development, but one remains unchanged. The way we visually present code today would do little to surprise the first owner of the 1955 IBM typewriter that introduced the Courier typeface. The last sixty years brought little more than new fonts and syntax highlighting, while the desktop publishing revolution thirty years ago brought the classical disciplines of layout and typography to every other kind of text we read.

The goals of this talk are to consider why source code’s visual design is so resistant to change, and to show how we might better visualise code. Attendees will see fixed-width fixed-size code transformed into gaming, newspaper and corporate styles, which is only the first step to a new kind of code visibility. Code is designed to be read, rather than merely written. Next to user stories and information radiators, we need Big Visible Code on the wall.

Note: this presentation is an agile methods perspective on Beautiful code: typography and visual programming.

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