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[DPRG] A sad day for some, great for others...

Subject: [DPRG] A sad day for some, great for others...
From: Paul Bouchier bouchier at classicnet.net
Date: Sat Sep 25 21:14:50 CDT 2010

Diverting this discussion a bit....
When we describe a million-line program, we typically use a combination of
pictures and text. Pictures describe structure better than words, and words
describe dynamic behavior better than pictures. Code is too low level to
convey understanding. 
It's one of the great unsolved challenges of today (and the past 40 years)
to find a way of representing desired behavior at a higher level such that
the business of programming becomes less tedious (a million lines is very
tedious), less expensive and less error-prone (defects are a serious issue
in large programs).
The problem seems to revolve around there being so much knowledge in
programs and we don't have ways to abstract it sufficiently. The
higher-level languages have tended to be application-specific, so much of
development falls back to the lowest-level (C/C++/Java), so that developers
don't have to acquire a huge amount of domain context (think Ruby-on-Rails
or yacc/lex) and can understand what's going on when it doesn't work. Words
in a program description or requirements spec are too high-level to enable
synthesis - when you try & deal with the error conditions they rapidly
become pseudocode, and lose the high-level perspective. Formal languages
don't really seem to abstract to a higher level. Perhaps the static/dynamic
combination of views is an inadequate paradigm. 
The arduino GUI language is clearly a toy, but it does make you wonder about
better ways to build large software systems. Thanks for the interesting
thoughts A. Scientist.

-----Original Message-----
From: dprglist-bounces at dprg.org [mailto:dprglist-bounces at dprg.org] On Behalf
Of A. Scientist
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2010 7:44 AM
To: dprg.org
Subject: [DPRG] A sad day for some, great for others...


GUI programming for arduino, excuse me while I weep.

I challenge anyone who is compelled to learn this to learn C instead. I will
help you.

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