> This is only because you live in a world (ie, academia)
> here the aim is to be creative.

Of course, there are quite a range of professions that we do 
identify as being 'creative', and many of those professions use 
programming as a tool. I've had a number of interesting 
experiences creating new programming languages for use in those 
professions (architecture, choreography, visual arts, 
sculpture), and have even presented this research at PPIG:

Blackwell, A. and Collins, N. (2005). The programming language as a musical 
instrument. In Proceedings of PPIG 2005, pp. 120-130. 

So an interesting question is whether this kind of research can
have beneficial spin-offs for 'regular' programming work of the
kind Derek describes.

We might consider the case of Smalltalk, which was created
primarily as a medium for creative expression by children. It
turned out to be of quite general broader value, as did the
bitmapped displays, window and icon GUI, and other things
developed to support Smalltalk. The Smalltalk innovations seem to
have had business value, because people in many professions
actually perceive their work as creative, and they quite enjoy
having 'creative' tools with which to do it.

Alan Blackwell
Reader in Interdisciplinary Design, University of Cambridge
Further details from www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~afb21/

The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt 
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