Re: [dev] a suckless computer algebra system

From: Jukka Ruohonen <>
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 2009 18:15:41 +0200

On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 03:56:07PM +0000, David Tweed wrote:
> I think it's just a difference in when we'd use words like terrible.

Well, being on a suckless list, I tend to agree with suckless' definitions
of "terrible".

Perhaps all this could be elaborated from a different angle. Most of the
people who write numerical software are respected hardcore academics in
their fields. But most of these people are *not* programmers per se. I
believe this is the general reason for the "sucks more" aspects of numerical
software. Would you agree?

As a personal anecdote: I was reading a good book about numerical
computation the other day. Everything was nicely derived and all that. But
when it came to the C library that the respected professor had developed, I
couldn't but think: this is absolutely terrifying. I mean, the code examples
violated practically every idiom of C; several functions took well over
twenty parameters, numerous libc-functions were severely misused, the type
system was a mess, and so on.

- Jukka.
Received on Fri Nov 20 2009 - 16:15:41 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Fri Nov 20 2009 - 16:24:02 UTC