- The class I'd just written seemed to be working just fine. But when I ran
my unit tests I realised I'd made a silly mistake.
- Today I had a chat with a computer
- Never has a character set been quite so entertaining.
- Now though, despite – maybe because of – its imminent demise,
reduce refuses to be ignored.
- For me, it's not just what the shell tools can do, it's the example they set.
- "pragmatic" is hardly a quality traditionally associated
- I'm not suggesting authors are thick-skinned or deserve rough treatment, but I think anyone who writes technical material learns about that material at the same time – yes, really, that's one of the main benefits of writing. And however expert the reviewers, that learning process doesn't stop once the article is published.
- Free as in free beer, not free as in without cost.
- With a little ingenuity you can test how the pre-commit hook would have
responded to such a faulty transaction which, in future, we would like
- The great thing about CVu and Overload is that they are written by
software developers for software developers.
- You did notice the Latin Capital Letter O didn't you? The one next
to the number 0.
- Computer systems are punchlines; design is a matter of figuring out the joke
- If you care about code layout, how you name things etc. but don't want to waste time arguing about such things, then you probably want to go with the native language conventions
- An interpreted language has much to offer in this area, allowing us to query and shape images dynamically
something be too large for version control? Too immutable?
Conversely, something be too small? Too transient?
- As programmers, perhaps we're rather too used to wrestling them into
submission – perhaps we sometimes secretly enjoy it – and
as a consequence we expect other users to tolerate such impudence.
- What's worse, noone on the team really questioned this mode of operation.
- The shootout is all about who's got the fastest gun, rather than who's
the most accurate.
- I never had to go through the tiresome business of compiling, sorting out dependencies, locating include- and library- paths, declaring object types – tasks which I'd always associated with real programming.
- They may be infinite (remember the Pearly Gates club never closes!) but that doesn't mean they take up much space.
- My boss
is a mac evangelist, keen to convert those lost souls who continue
to suffer other platforms
- The whole business of maintaining two versions of the software (one
for use by developers, another for users) is problematic
- Now try
designing a GUI which can analyse any log file ever.
- Software is soft: there's no problem moving a load-bearing wall
- The real joke is that we
continue to tolerate applications with bloated user interfaces,
feature-creep, and enforced-upgrades.
- How could I pitch Python in just 3 syllables?
- The problem is, your working copy is based on the trunk and your changes don't really belong on the trunk.
- It's far better to provide a well-stocked library than to attempt
to write your own diluted imitations of Sutter and Meyers.
- Software developers don't feel secure unless their source repository
is safely backed up – or at least they shouldn't – and they are
reluctant to suffer repository downtime or excessive maintenance
- C++ programmers, share your pain!
- Version control should be frictionless, the easy bit. Which it is.
- When we say we want readable code, we don't mean we want to sit in a comfortable chair and page through a Java-saga.
- They can also be used to create modules which
collect together components from the same repository.
- This code wouldn't go any way towards persuading me I should bother with Python.
- Many closed source projects would regard it as a sign of weakness to publish this kind of information
- Python does have a standard
this library, though. It isn't
documented. It isn't even tested.
- Thinking? It's certainly common to speak of computers as being stupid or annoying.
- The old C++ code has been left to rot but the idea within it remains green, recoded in Python
- Python famously comes with batteries included, but full details of their use belongs online
- Every time I hack a style sheet in this way it seems like trying to
balance a wobbly table.
- One reason I like Python and writing about Python is its platform independence. Linux, Windows, OS X etc. — we can all run the same code. For this particular application, that's less true.
- Anyone who has ever tried to release a software product knows how it feels to slide down the slope of this curve
- As a C++ programmer brought up on C, I suppose I suffered the
usual prejudice: that Java would be a feeble language designed to stop
feeble programmers from getting hurt too badly.
- Programming will increasingly be about the control of side-effects
- If a C++ expert like Andrew Koenig has trouble with build dependencies, what hope for the rest of us?
- Python's clean and transparent design takes the credit
- I'll confess to having programmed on a plane myself
- A good coding standard shouldn't be there to constrain developers or force
them to comply to a particular coding style.
- How would you draw a position reached in a game of chess, showing both the board and the pieces?
- But the best route to an accurate answer is easier and quicker.
- Not many compiler writers connect so well with an audience.
- Once again our building block is the stream but our connector, the pipeline operator, |, doesn't allow this kind of abuse
- The Unix command shell contains a lot of what I like in a programming environment: it's dynamic, high-level, interpreted, flexible, succinct.
- It was the first very high-level language I fell for.
- In my experience simplicity must be discovered, not designed. Thus a simple design derives from – and may indeed break – a more complex one.
- You haven't actually tested your new hook script so it probably
doesn't do what you meant it to.
- Reduced clutter. Enhanced clarity. Win win.
- When we think more carefully, though, we realise these fears are
misplaced and often apply equally to desktop software.
- Project planning tools that are so expensive only higher management
can afford them, and so sophisticated noone can get them to do what
- With its special cases, boolean literals, multiple returns (4, count them!), disembodied and infinite loops, this code fails to exhibit conventional beauty. Yet it is beautiful.
- Ruby is a so-called "dynamic" language, which is a polite way of saying that it's hugely unpredictable.
- Has anyone else noticed the square-jawed smiley you get when you chop the last element from a Python list?
- Idiomatic C++ varies across both time and team.
- Flaws, in particular, scale rapidly
- The itertools module supplies the components. We connect.
- 1 is your grandmother and 10 is Bjarne Stroustrup.
- In a rare
moment of generosity, C++ (and C) specifically allow for it.
- This approach of learning how to program by reading code is far from
radical but is perhaps better suited to some languages than others.
- Perl has always had a great sense of humour; and, like all great humour, it deserves taking seriously.
- I'm generally unprincipled and promiscuous when it comes to tool selection: whatever works and is to hand will do.
- Any computer scientist can spot the recursion and the associated risk of exponential overrun.
- Good design is simple, not severe. Good code is concise, not minimal.
- For managing change, give me stable software.
- All programming languages I know of are firmly stuck in the 7-bit ASCII range, where the only currency character is the good old American $ 0x24 DOLLAR SIGN.
- The equivalence of code and data marks Lisp's apotheosis
- That's four restarts. Can I go home now?
- But anyone who breaks the build deserves an ASBO. It hinders other team members and shows disregard for best practice. In an age of atomic commits, powerful computers, and virtualisation, there can be no excuse.
- Software is supposed to be soft and
dynamic languages help keep it that way.
- I do think, thanks.
- The most important factor in their success, though, is their willingness to experiment, combined with persistence and patience.
- C++ does the
heavy lifting; Python manages the complex application logic.
- A 50% rule
applies – each member spends half the time working on fixed projects
and the other half working on self-directed projects.
- On other occasions I want a quick fix: perhaps I'm using a technology I really don't care much about, and am therefore reluctant to invest any great effort in.
- We have iteration on a rapidly diminishing range, not recursion, and a linear operation, O(S).
- In this case, I had to put in the batteries myself.
- I don’t think comments can or should be entirely eliminated from source code -- here’s a case where they help.
- Small, powerful language, large, structured library of usable software.
- I never expected any money so this was exciting
- Adding fairly simple features (such as initialisers or chained-constructor) to C++ was requiring enormous amounts of time and energy from equally enormously talented and dedicated people, because C++ is such an insanely complicated language.
- You specify, you cost, you plan, you grumble about Microsoft Project; you consider the competition, envisage the end game, pin an end date on the calendar. All of a sudden Hofstadter's Law has teeth.
- As a rule of thumb, I reckon Python to be an order of magnitude more wasteful of CPU cycles and memory than my favourite low-level language, C++.
- Armed with this evidence, I soon found a quick way to speed things up
- Let's repeat that: the file you check out is the same as the file you checked in.
Surely this is the behaviour we really want from a version control system?
- Sometime later, the Red Bear project also decides to use
- It could be worse. What if the backslash key
had fallen off our keyboard? Remarkably – and, as far as I know,
uniquely – C++ caters for this situation.
- I can understand C++ programmers objecting to the explicit
self Python requires for member access.
- We have a compact suite of tools, each with its own responsibility, which cooperate using simple interfaces.
- Defensive programming can cause defects to become entrenched
- When should you put third party source code under version
control, and when should you put in pre-built binaries?
- Use the compiler to detect compilation problems.
- I had to admire the way the language grabbed all the characters on the keyboard and squeezed the juice out of them.
- What's more, when you start treating your personal environment as
something deserving version control, you find it becomes better
- But ultimately, the power of the programmer is what matters.
- It's subtle, efficient, and dazzlingly clever!
- The irony is that I only use them for basic stuff, and may well resort to something with a GUI when attempting something out of the ordinary.
- Ruby supports binary literals. It's always been mystery to me why
other languages don't support these – you always need them when you
need to pack and unpack binary data.
- A fine example of how to design and document a programming interface
- That’s one of the reasons I like Python: it’s hard to get away with poorly laid out code.
- I'm lazy. I found myself performing the same mechanical
sequence of actions every morning: check what's changed, review the
changes, update, rebuild. A machine could do it for me – so now a
machine does do it for me.