The plus plus

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at
Fri Nov 3 17:10:18 UTC 2006

On Friday 03 November 2006 11:55, Steffen Kluge wrote:
>On 04/11/2006, at 3:31 AM, Andy Green wrote:
>> Therefore it does matter what language you are using, it does
>> affect how you come at a problem, how you can consider a solution,
>> and how successful you will be with the implementation.  In short
>> you cannot correctly choose an architecture without deeply
>> understanding the constraints of the implementation, and that
>> inevitably includes the abilities of the language.
>I guess this is where we disagree. No modern programming environment
>imposes limits on the software engineer that requires him or her
>change the software design. If it does then the software engineer is
>misguided and tool-centric.
>I'm old fashioned (not 1970's as you guessed but 1980's) and I think
>software engineering is 90% paper and pencil. This doesn't sit at all
>well with geeks who can't be dragged away from the keyboard. But if
>you design as you code (within the constraints of your development
>environment) you are bound to make fundamental design errors. Design
>versus implementation, such an old mantra I'm almost embarassed to
>repeat it.

Repeat hell, it should shouted from the rooftops.  This is classicly where 
my downfall takes place. I can take a well laid out but buggier than a 10 
day old carcass batch of code and fix it right up, or could in years past, 
just because the original author laid it out well.  But the only from 
scratch item I ever did that was well organized, and just worked at any 
stage of the testing, was one where I'd looked at a screenshot of a 
utility that ran on another platform, wrote up a flow chart based on that, 
and then wrote it section by section, in assembly.  Its a lesson in doing 
the homework, and that utility went together in what I thought was record 
time for a project that was over 20k of binary on an 8 bit machine, and 
without many errors, I think no errors now in its 3rd public release for 
os9/nitros9 systems, as I've heard of none in the last 12 years and its 
still in wide use today on that 'retro' platform.

>Here's a challenge: design the most ambitious software project you
>can, and then point out any of our modern programming languages you
>cannot use to implement your design. Performance doesn't count, since
>we're trying to prove that choice of tools doesn't limit imagination.

This was even true 20 years ago.  Any language of the day soon got 
extensions so it could do any other languages job, so that generally is a 
non-starter for an argument point.


Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author) and AOL/TW attorneys please note, additions to the above
message by Gene Heskett are:
Copyright 2006 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.

More information about the users mailing list