Category mistakes by Dijkstra, Hoare, and others

# Ensmenger & Flowcharts

Submitted by egdaylight on

## Dated:

One of the questions that keeps me awake (during the day) is the following one:

What did a “computer program” mean to Actor X in 1973?

For example, both Christopher Strachey and Edsger Dijkstra viewed a “computer program” as a mathematical object, albeit of a very different kind [1]. (A decade or more earlier, both men did not associate computer programs with mathematical objects *pur sang*). But what about large parts of the North American computer industry in 1973? How did actors in this field view a “computer program” in 1973?