Re: [dev] Article in line with

From: Martin Tournoij <>
Date: Sun, 08 Aug 2021 15:14:06 +0800

On Sat, Aug 7, 2021, at 14:02, Sagar Acharya wrote:
> I have written this article at the link below.
> It enhances the value of suckless by pointing the problems in gigantic
> softwares. Let me know what you think.

I'm reminded by the old Hoare quote (from 1980!):

> There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to
> make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the
> other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious
> deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult. It demands the
> same skill, devotion, insight, and even inspiration as the discovery
> of the simple physical laws which underlie the complex phenomena of
> nature.

I've certainly noticed in the software I write that complexity tends to
be a graph roughly like:

     │ ---
     │ / \--
     │/-/ \--
     └───────────── time

As my understanding of the problem and various solutions increases, I
can reduce complexity.

The more complex solution(s) however, *do* usually work and are "good
enough", in a way.

I'm also reminded by this

> Joe wrote amazingly simple programs and he did so in a peculiar way.
> First he wrote down the program any old way just to get it out of his
> head. Then once it worked he would then immediately create a new
> directory program2 and write it again. He would repeat this process
> five or six times (program5, program6, ...) and each time he would
> understand the problem a little better and sense which parts of the
> program were essential enough to re-type. He thought this was the most
> natural thing in the world: of course you throw away the first few
> implementations, you didn't understand the problem when you wrote
> those!

I suspect TDD and strong emphasis on testing in general (which isn't
necessarily a bad thing btw) may play a part in this: you can write any
ol' crap, throw a bunch of tests at it, and fiddle about with it until
it passes the tests. Okay, great. But "passes tests" doesn't
automatically mean it's "good".
Received on Sun Aug 08 2021 - 09:14:06 CEST

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