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In my own defense, the problem for has not so much been why should I care (I could tell that the contents of the Perl algorithm book would be good for me), but how do I even get my head around the daunting terminology.

The analogy here might be the construction worker to the architect -- the construction worker puts on a pair of old jeans, goes down to the site, checks the plan, lays out his tools and gets to work. Then the architect swings by with all his talk about form, habitable spaces, and so on. Much of this goes right over the construction worker's head -- not because he (or she) is dumb or uninterested, but because it's wrapped in a lot of impenetrable jargon that only the initiated can know.

The construction worker can tell you that if you put strut A over there your building will fall down, while the architect can tell you why it's ugly. They're talking about the same thing, but from different vantage points, and often the latter will have a greater sense of the whole.

I hope I'm not offending anyone with an construction background, I'm speaking in a grossly general way here in order to make a point.

My favourite programming book of all time was the Llama book. It was the third book from which I tried to learn Perl, and it was the one that worked because it was so clearly working from the premise that the reader was not stupid, was there to learn, but really didn't know his or her a** from his elbow when it came to programming. And what made it stand out as far superior to other books was that it took a progressive approach to teaching by example -- each program was an extension to the one that you had just done for the preceeding chapter. So you could see things coming together in front of you. Each program contained 9 things that you had already done, and one that you hadn't. If you became confused you only had to step back a chapter and re-read.

If you can make the CS vocabulary intelligible then not only will I erect a small shrine in the corner of my flat, but, frankly, you should be writing a book.

Awaiting his enlightenment,


In reply to Re: Re: Existential Crisis (Or: On Becoming a Better Monk) by jreades
in thread Existential Crisis (Or: On Becoming a Better Monk) by jreades

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