Subject: Re: Too Much Caffeine -- Users v. Surface v. Deep Programming
From: (Rob Warnock)
Date: Wed, 06 Sep 2006 06:10:16 -0500
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>
Tim Bradshaw <> wrote:
| Chris Barts wrote:
| > We both agree that programming is hard. My point is that some kinds of
| > hard percolate up through just about any language.
| Yes, I agree.  And I'm fine with the idea that Lisp makes it as easy as
| it can be (I think it's wrong, actually, but that's a different
| discussion).  *hard* is the point though.  Hard, generally very boring,
| and requiring a very specialised way of thinking in which almost no one
| is interested.

Someone (Dijkstra?) once commented that the "smarter" our IDEs
become, the more *difficult* the process of programming becomes,
since with all that "easy stuff" taken care of automatically,
all that is left are the *hard* bits!!  ;-}  ;-}

Or said another way, Lisp makes all the boring, repetitive,
fiddly bits easy, which leaves only the *hard* parts...

All of which just means that the (reported) factors of 10x to 100x
between the median and the very best programmers isn't ever going
to go away.

On the other hand, from practical experience helping non-programmers
with editor macros & simple scripting, I agree with Jeff Shrager that
"surface programming" by average people *is* both possible and desirable.


Rob Warnock			<>
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