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Time Magazine: Man of the Millennium

mycetes at my-dejanews.com mycetes at my-dejanews.com
Sat Oct 17 02:12:00 EST 1998

In article <7033ii$v4u$1 at coranto.ucs.mun.ca>,
  n57mgb at morgan.ucs.mun.ca (Michael Gerald Burton) wrote:
> Just on the whole woman of the millenium...
> I would think that (Lady) Ada Lovelace would be more of a candidate than
> any code monkey out there today.  Her ideas founded, simultaneously, the
> science of computer linguistics and the field which would eventually allow
> the creation of a true mass-production society.
> I would think that you all know of the first honor (she was working with
> Charles Babbage).  The second stems from the fact that many of her ideas
> were eventually used in Jaquardian looms to bring greater efficiency to
> the automating process.  And Jaquardian looms were a
> demonstration-in-practice of the practicality of the same concepts used to
> begin Henry Ford's empire at the turn of the next century.

Ada Lovelace was not the progenitor of Computer Programming. Charles Babbage
was. The program she published in her famous paper was a copy of a
handwritten one which Babbage had given her for that purpose. This is more
plainly understood if one realises that Babbage developed the programming
language first and would have tried it out long before he would have given it
to Ada to play with. Ada's primary role in the history of computing was to
translate that paper, which had originally appeared in French. It was
Babbage's idea that the English translation should contain more than the
original French one.


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