Re: [dev] Web development in C (or, C'ing clearly through the webs of bias)

From: Zach van Rijn <>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2019 23:17:50 -0500

On Thu, 2019-01-31 at 19:58 -0800, Anselm Garbe wrote:
> On Thu, 31 Jan 2019 at 17:59, Zach van Rijn <> wrote:
> > On Thu, 2019-01-31 at 09:49 -0800, Anselm Garbe wrote:
> >
> > I was pointing out the disparity between your (collective)
> > desire for quality software, while you simultaneously
> > neglect the quality of your community's forums with over-
> > simplified technical discussion and the shutting down of
> > dissenting voices.
> Not sure what you actually mean. As said we tend to value code
> higher than some academic deep dive discourse about some
> programming language theories. By this we might express our
> (high level) opinion in a more placative fashion than
> researchers would do. I personally think much of software
> development is actually an art or a craft, so it is ok to
> a certain degree to focus on taste rather than strong data
> driven judgement in all the aspects. Being good or right about
> things not only requires lot's of experience, but also a good
> portion of intuition. And the latter is barely elusive by
> scientific methods.

All of this is OK. My claim was that I find a large number of
the messages on the mailing list to be lacking in the qualities
you describe above. Again, "knee-jerk reaction" and "bias".

> > I agree that time is a valuable resource, though I've found
> > that spending a even a /little/ bit of time thinking about
> > one's code prior to sitting and writing it, results in a
> > better outcome.
> I agree to this and there is no contradiction here. We did
> spend more time on the code here, than the average project
> does, just because we carefully think about the essence of
> things. Besides thinking before you start writing code, there
> have also methods developed that lead to better software. One
> is attempting by introducing a feature to remove another or
> two. This leads towards the essence.

I've seen your talks (ca. 2013) on this matter and mostly agree.

> > To support your point, wouldn't it make more sense to adhere
> > to your own software principles during discussion by
> > preemptively resolving as much ambiguity in your statements
> > as possible?
> It depends. When we talk about opinion or taste it is
> acceptable if there is a certain ambiguity. If discussing an
> idea in detail or in code of course there shouldn't.

Then I guess my concern is that, this level of discretion is not
or does not appear to be used consistently in discussions that
occur on the mailing list. I don't know of the IRC channel or
elsewhere, but insofar as to the historical record, there's a
lot of garbage in this community.

> > Discussions would be more productive and have fewer lines.
> That may or may not be the case as this thread has already
> proven.

We're not hurling insults or misleading information at each
other, now are we? This is so far a sane discussion save for
Hadrien Lacour's response.

> > > understand what went totally wrong. Mixing data structures
> > > with behaviour is one of the worst ideas that progammers
> > > came up with and has led to almost unmaintainable code and
> > > data structures. In Java world 'refactoring' is daily
> > > business because of this. I can't go into more detail as
> > > this would be a big waste of time. If you want to learn
> > > more about it, I suggest to start here:
> > >
> >
> > In <any serious programming> world, refactoring is an
> > essential component of code maintenance. It doesn't have to
> > be as drastic as you might imagine, but to believe that code
> > doesn't ever need to be changed is irresponsible.
> Well, you seem to misconceive what I wrote. I did not
> criticize refactoring, I criticized the excessive need for it
> in the Java world. If data structures and logic are strictly
> decoupled and not intermingled, refactoring of the logic is
> very easy and straightforward. This is particularly true for
> PLs like C where it is uncommon practice to intermingle data
> and logic. However in a OO world like Java, it is prevalent
> and the refactoring becomes a burden because of this.

On the whole, yes, but this still treads into the world of "why
my programming language is better than yours"; the point being
that your argument "if data structures ... very easy" might come
across as (at least to those who don't understand precisely what
you are saying and in which context) authoritative. And that's
what I'm cautioning against. I see it _frequently_ on the MLs.

> Best regards,
> Anselm

Received on Fri Feb 01 2019 - 05:17:50 CET

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