By Frohlich, David; Gilbert, Nigel G.; Luff, Paul
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Additional info for Computers and Conversation
A related point is that there is no one way of 'doing' CA. Analysts develop their own particular interests, and clearly these will be reflected in the style of their work and their approach to data analysis. An attempt to distil a single 'method' from the various ways people proceed in analysis would be dangerous in that it might reify as one programme what is in fact a range of delicate skills. There is also a danger that an attempt to formulate the methodology that informs CA fosters the impression that the process of analysis is simply a case of application: the researcher has the data in front of her, she 'applies' CA, and the results come flooding out.
This work emphasises the practical reasoning d i s p l a y e d in the organisation of o p e n i n g conversation, turn-taking within conversation, the repair of breakdown within conversation and the closing of conversation. This practical reasoning can be thought of as a set of tacit, normative and reciprocal rules to which partners orient when doing conversation. Humancomputer interaction can be conceived as a form of conversation with a computer. This is an idea that has a persistent potency; for example, one of the earliest texts on software engineering (Martin 19672) stresses the importance of (what was then termed) the man-machine interface and, in addition, devotes a complete chapter to what are termed conversations with a computer.
3) As the quotation illustrates, software engineering is conceived as being an engineering discipline, in much the same way as civil or mechanical engineering. There is an overt concern with producing artefacts that are "tried and tested, up to full specification and on time". Considerable emphasis is placed on separating what is required of an artefact — its specification — from how that artefact may be produced — its implementation. A major factor in achieving and utilising this separation of specification from implementation is an abstraction based on formal methods.