If you're a Rubyist you know the meme that "Ruby allows you to write beautiful code".
Several within the community have tried to define what "Beautiful Ruby Code" is, and even though most were successful showing us really beaultiful code, I don't think I saw someone actually being able to communicate the concept of "Beauty" yet.
Comes TED. If you know me, you know that I've been completely addicted to it for years now, all themes of TED inspires me. And tonight, while having dinner, I watched the great Richard Seymour (no, he is not a programmer) talking about this very subject and I was blown away.
Find the video below, but let me add a few words of my own. Specially in our small world of programmers and technologists, we have lots of discussions around "Form" vs "Function", as if we should choose one over the other, or as if we should balance one against the other.
I'm of the same opinion as Richard that it is not a "Form" VS "Function". The correct way of thinking is: "Form" IS "Function". Another thing is that you don't evaluate something as beautiful, you don't analyse it, you don't rationalize beauty, you feel beauty.
And your reaction to beauty is directly related to what you know, to what you have experienced. If you haven't lived, if you haven't learned, you won't find beauty. Back to programming, it's impossible for someone that just started to learn how to write software, or even someone that already did a few small projects to understand the concept of "beauty". It's only after some time, some experience and some learning that they will start to grasp what beauty possibly feels like.
With that comment, please watch Richard Seymour (if you want subtitles for your native language, go to original site so you can choose subtitles):
Knowledge and Experience is everything. Ignorance doesn't know beauty.