Subject: Re: CL & CORBA
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1998/09/11
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Bjoern-Falko Andreas <>
| There is still no standard of how to write maintainable code.

  why this clamoring for standards?

| But the style of other people?  You have to admit that understanding
| their line of thought isn't always easy to understand.

  no, it isn't _always_ easy.  but so?  I said 10% were a horror, and 20%
  were uncomfortable, but the _rest_ is "easy".  however, it sounds like
  you are of the "easy generation", for whom everything must be easy.

| For instance, I had to track down a bug that showed up only 1 in a 1000
| times.  I wasn't even able to locate where it originated from.  After
| spending 16+ hours of tracing in one session I found it.  By sheer luck.
| It's still preferrable not to have to do this.  There is not enough
| aspirin in the world to cure all the headaches browsing foreign code
| produces.

  the cause of your headaches isn't "foreign code", it's your attitude to
  work in general.  debugging is painful, it's a fucking waste.  sometimes,
  it's better to rewrite the code from scratch.  sometimes it's better to
  scrap the whole damn thing and consider it impossible.  which is better
  of debugging, reimplementing, and abandoning takes some experience to
  know.  if debugging is the best choice, at least you know the other two
  choices are more work and/or less rewarding.  that's _something_.

  FYI, I spent nine months debugging and understandign 25,000 lines of
  horrible C code -- it was fun in the way that all meaningless challenges
  are.  you'll have a very hard time convincing me you deserve sympathy for
  your 16+ hours.  the most insidious bug in GNU Emacs I found was so hard
  to pin down I found it only after having worked on it for more than 300
  hours over several months.  you see, I _hate_ crashes, and this was a bug
  that _sometimes_ caused Emacs to attempt to redraw the screen before it
  had updated its size parameters after a resize, causing Emacs to write
  screen contents into all sorts of unrelated memory, some of which took
  until the next GC to crash Emacs, and some of which caused bizarre
  behavior elsewhere.  this is not the proper forum for macho bug-killing
  stories, however.  you just need to know that we've all been there and
  that we've all spent days, weeks, or months on trivial problems.  it's
  what this trade requires of its practitioners, just like doctors have to
  live with patiens who die.  it sucks, but if you can't hack it, get out.

-- is about my spam protection scheme and how
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