Monday, 10 December 2012

Global Day of Code Retreat 2012

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Jon Jagger said...

Hi Emily,
I've tracked down (and fixed) the fault where the output was not updated.

Andrew Dalke said...

I agree that it does 'throw me out of my comfort zone.' Could you elaborate on how it helps get us to 'really concentrate on the way [we] code'? Would it apply equally well to using, say, 'ed' as the editor?

BTW, I recently read an autobiographical account of the development of Algol for Burroughs: Stories about the B5000 and People Who Were There, Richard Waychoff, April 9, 1979. I thought you might be interested in this remark due its rejection of prototyping in favor of a code-last approach:

...our benchmarks seem to encourage minimal thought given to the design of our software. We see benchmarks such as:

A. Successful Clear/Start.

B. BOJ for an object program.

C. Simple program compiled.

This kind of benchmarking almost demands that coding starts as early as possible. I would much rather see benchmarks such as:

A. Design of the language complete.

B. Design of the Scanner complete.

C. Design of the Statement Parsers complete.

D. Start of programming.

E. Project successfully completed.

Somehow I have the impression that Detroit does not feel that we have time to produce products that are superior in innovation and quality. So I can understand Lonergan's opinion that no company, including Burroughs, is likely to duplicate the feat in today's environment.

Emily Bache said...


The point of the basic editor is partially as a leveller - you can pair more equally since neither person is in their comfort zone. I could say more, but I think it's a blog post of its own...

I don't think it would be the same with ed (I havn't used ed, but I'm assuming it's a bit like vim) since the usability for a complete beginner is poor, and most people will be beginners.

I'm not sure what point you're making with your account about Algol. Perhaps you could ellaborate in a blog post?