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What is wrong with cut-and-paste? Well our resident wizard said it very well in On reinventing the wheel.

As for general advice, well that is a huge topic. I would suggest trying to learn to think beyond the next line of code. Books like Code Complete, The Pragmatic Programmer, some more reviewed ones and many others are good. There are a lot of good design discussions here.

And contrary to what people here have said, there is at least one fairly large piece of software that is actively used and complete. Donald Knuth declared on Oct 3, 1990 that TeX and Metafont were feature complete and would only get bug fixes. At the time TeX was at version 3.1. There have been 2 releases since then. From the summer of 1993 onwards the version of TeX has stood at 3.1415.

It is today used by perhaps a million people, and in several specialty areas (eg publishing math) is the standard. OTOH Knuth is, well, Knuth... :-)


In reply to Re (tilly) 1: Some of use just want to know the basics by tilly
in thread Some of use just want to know the basics by Elias

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