Getting a bit OT,
Yes, all OT, as below, but since Julien wanted feedback, I was
dumb enough to supply one data point. Awfully sorry for the
Knuth has been drumming this for decades and there is practically
zero uptake in the real world market. IMHO Knuth doesn’t think
like the rest of us – he’s a mathematician.
And this is a bad thing? Computer science is applied mathematics.
No, it’s not a bad thing. It makes his programs and approach to
programming a bit different from what normal folks do, that’s all.
Different != bad. YMMV, that’s all. If there is practically no
market adoption, it’s too bad for Knuth. Let the market decide.
If you read the TeX sources, (from vaguely remembered stuff) his
expression parser was elegantly simplified, but not very clear
code. In the description: a challenge to readers to understand it
or accept it as magic. Large portions of the TeX math layout code
are also barely commented, but ‘works’. Evidently very elegant
algorithms to Knuth, I’m sure. (This characterization is unfair to
literate programming, but I’m just talking about how the
originator of literate programming uses literate programming.) But
as for maintainability as a group effort…
I can’t help but think the cweb/web thing is meant to turn source
code into a big ‘elegant’ math equation.
Source code is a big math equation, elegant or otherwise. Doubt it? Give me
your compiled source and I’ll return to you a (really huge) NUMBER that
defines your application.
You misunderstand. What I was trying to convey is that the
intention is to write a program, it works, it’s complete,
perfecto, and there, a ‘math equation’ QED’ed. It’s hard to start
hacking at TeX’s innards unless one becomes intimately familiar
with practically all of it – it’s like having to grok the entire
’equation’, all 535 pages of it. Maybe CWEB is better, I dunno.
I didn’t like studying WEB programs using a normal text editor,
even less the prospect of entering into or maintaining such a
project, but I do know there are special literate programming
editors that might possibly destroy my arguments, so again YMMV. I
am merely one data point.
Real cool stuff for
"up in the clouds" kind of academia.
Academia is not “up in the clouds”. It’s down to Earth basics. It’s from those
basics that we working programmers build “up in the clouds” applications.
This is the only serious disagreement I have with your comments.
Heh, I apologize for that slight increase in flowery language.
Academia can push the cutting edge, but many things do not get
adopted for widespread use. The market is often a good predictor,
although many things do fly under the radar. In this case, I don’t
believe Knuth-style literate programming in its current form will
be embraced by the market anytime soon.
Thus, CWEB/WEB in particular is one specific thing that might not
’trickle down’ to mainstream programmers in its current form, just
as MMIX is something that is still mainly used when studying some
of Knuth’s texts. But one can also say that Javadocs and Doxygen
are the spiritual equivalents and are very popular today.
Since this is OT, hopefully I won’t post further on this thread.> On Thu July 24 2008 20:48, KHMan wrote:
Kein-Hong Man (esq.)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia