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Re: Beyond literate programming...

by cat2014 (Monk)
on Feb 20, 2001 at 00:06 UTC ( #59452=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Beyond literate programming...

I have a bit of a graphics background (a major that was 1/2 computer science & 1/2 photography), but I don't really think that relates too much to this. while I think that your idea of graphically illustrating a program is interesting, I don't really think that would contribute that much to a program.

I've seen programs diagramed as flowcharts illustrating the different steps a program takes while executing, which is certainly useful for some. It's not as good, though, as a good design for your program. Good abstraction, elegant algorithms, and well written code will, in my opinion, do far more to make a program easy for someone other than the original author to understand than all the flowcharts in the world. Those same 3 things are pretty much my only criteria for the beauty of a program.

Personally, I think that stuff like tux poster is ok, but not that pretty to look at. I'd rather judge how beautiful code is by 1 set of standards & how beautiful a illustration or painting is by a completely different set of standards. I know a lot of stuff has tried to merge the two (like the antitrust movie desktop wallpapers) but it seems silly to me. -- cat

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Re: Re: Beyond literate programming...
by larsen (Parson) on Feb 20, 2001 at 13:45 UTC
    Thank you.

    I was actually thinking that the way one develops code is highly non-linear. According to me, the way we study e comprehend it too. Moving from this principle could be useful for books, as I said in my previous message. Or for teamworks, so that different programmers at different levels could communicate between them.

    Code provide at the same time all levels of details: documentation, comments, high-level code, tricks and so on. Good programmers organize this stuff so that one can easily dig trough their code (for example, with POD you can separate documentation from code). I think this could be done more effectively, using principles of graphic design.

    I'd rather judge how beautiful code is by 1 set of standards & how beautiful a illustration or painting is by a completely different set of standards.

    Me too. But, for example, maps of undergrounds are illustrations, and I think I can judge them by aesthetic and readibility standards. I'd like to try to transform computer programs in illustrations. Perhaps this is a complete waste of time. I hope not :)

    It's better I provide an example of what I'm talking about: if I'll have time, I'll do it this weekend.

    see you. larsen

      Two thoughts:

      • I agree with cat2014. There is a certain beauty to "Good abstraction, elegant algorithms, and well written code...". I would only add that the less 'cluttered' the code is, the more beautiful it is.
      • "The map is not the terrain." I think I read this in a book about golf, but the idea applies here. Any 'picture' you want to draw of a program will not be complete. This applies, even if your medium is text. A program when read may or may not be the same program when run.

      So, I don't think it can be done (i.e., how to lay out the code so that with a glance you can know everything about the program), nor that we need to. If you figure out how to do it, however, I'ld like to know the trick. :-)

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