Soft coding is introduced on a level by level basis, with each level benefiting from the soft coding at its own level and the ones below it.
- level -2 (paper and pencil) hard codes document version
- level -1 (notepad) soft codes document version and hard codes literal order
- level 0 (spreadsheets) soft codes literal order and hard codes literals
- level 1 (rdb) soft codes literals (as variables) and hard codes instances
- level 2 (oo) soft codes instances and hard codes variable context (as members with hard coded names)
- level 3 (data semantics) soft-codes variable context and hard codes highly complex data structures
- level 4 (knowledge representation) soft codes highly complex data structures and hard codes program functions
- level 5 (artificial intelligence) soft codes program functions and hard codes synthetic operations
- level 6 (computational creativity) soft codes synthetic operations and hard codes program instances
- level 7 soft codes program instances as agents and hard codes communities of agents
- level 8 soft codes communities of agents
These are general tendencies, you can find exceptions.