Re: HUMOR: I Need Help

Subject: Re: HUMOR: I Need Help
From: <puff -at- guild -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 11:31:58 -0500


Jim Shaeffer writes:

> And yet, every software engineer or programmer I know works and
> learns by doing wholesale copies of example code into his or her
> code.

Programmers learn to program by reading others code - just like
writers learn to write by reading others writing. "Wholesale copies"
on the other hand, is balderdash.

> They also base their work on established, published algorithms and
> trusted formulas.

You vastly overestimate the state of the art and the industry.

> They don't waste resources "re-inventing the wheel" when there is an
> opportunity for "creative plagiarism."

One of the more popular movements in the cutting edge of
programming theory these days is "patterns" - recurring themes in how
systems are designed. "Code reuse" is an ideal programmers have been
striving for - and failing to achieve - for decades. As technology
gradually progresses, programmers do indeed reuse tools, components
and technologies developed by others, but most often they do so by the
introduction of additional layers of abstraction at a technology
level. Operating systems, databases, higher-level languages, now
today application servers and technologies like XML.

Somebody else's code never does quite what you want, and it's
usually easier to figure it out and write your own code than it is to
decipher somebody else's.

> Just a Monday morning thought.

Just a monday-morning-after-spending-eighteen-hours-struggling-
with-somebody-else's-code thought.

Steven J. Owens
puff -at- guild -dot- net

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