Subject: Re: Apprenticeship [was Re: So, where's the "Javadoc" for COMMON Lisp?]
From: (Rob Warnock)
Date: 8 Aug 2001 03:34:59 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <9kqc13$9k9n0$>
Erik Naggum  <> wrote:
| What if the idea that you should modify the source code is an expression
| of the arrogance of youth that you know everything better than everybody
| else and that you discover that this is in fact wrong only after you have
| done a lot of really hard programming so you know that programming is not
| that simple, easy task, anymore?
| What if you discover that getting anything _right_ is so difficult that
| you actually want to get paid very well if you are among the few can do it?

Hmmm, perhaps it's time for more snippets from my favorite Dijkstra rant[*]:

	Programming is one of the most difficult branches of applied
	mathematics; the poorer mathematicians had better remain pure

	The easiest machine applications are the technical/scientific

	The tools we use have a profound (and devious!) influence on
	our thinking habits, and, therefore, on our thinking abilities.
	The problems of business administration in general and data base
	management in particular are much too difficult for people that
	think in IBMese, compunded with sloppy English.

	About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen a pencil
	with a blunt axe. It is equally vain to try to do it with ten
	blunt axes instead.

(Where he said "IBMese", I suspect today one might equally-well
substitute one's least-favorite technical buzzword of the week...)


[*] EWD 498 "How do we tell truths that might hurt?", pp.129-131
    in Edsger W. Dijkstra, "Selected Writing on Computing: A Personal
    Perspective" (Springer Verlag, 1982) ISBN 0-387-90652-5. Scanned
    version at <URL:>

Rob Warnock, 30-3-510		<>
SGI Network Engineering		<> [until 8/15]
1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy.		Phone: 650-933-1673
Mountain View, CA  94043	PP-ASEL-IA

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