Still pretty relevant after 45 years.
"We must not forget that it is not our business to make programs, it is our business to design classes of computations that will display a desired behaviour.
great perspective from a great mind Nearly 50 years later this is still relevant and it is also discussing history from 70 years ago that is relevant.
Hardware advances still drive computing in ways that put more mental burden on programmers.
I love that there are historical elements that still seem to be the same today:
"Two opinions about programming date from those days.
I mention them now, I shall return to them later.
The one opinion was that a really competent programmer should be puzzleminded and very fond of clever tricks; the other opinion was that programming was nothing more than optimizing the efficiency of the computational process, in one direction or another.
The other thing that I find interesting with multicore, power thresholds being important and direct GPU APIs like DirectX12, Metal and Vulkan make statements lik Can't recommend enough.
It starts with some background where hardware is seen as more fashionable compared to the software and continues why software will be a bigger problem and must improve.
Then, it describes the necessary conditions for any breakthrough: understood benefits, economical costs, and feasibility.
First two are briefly explained and the last condition is extended and supported by manageable programs, reduced set of features, proofs and verification, large pattern libraries, better tools (i.
programming languages), and abstractions (factored programming).
He also shortly touches the road blockers; political status, unbalanced education, etc.
Finally, he concludes accepting our limits and flaws isn't a bug but a feature to design and to develop for the future.
You will also find the source of many quotes that are seen frequently here and t
The journey, about which Mr Dijsktra writes so eloquently, is a fascinating view of how and why some issues, such as lack of changes in hardware industry, made their way in the programmers' realm.
It was a surprise to read the author advocating the retirement and removal of certain programming languages from existence, as most scientists would argue their usage for educational purposes.
The lecture is immensely humbling, and incredibly saturated with wisdom of programming.
I would highly recommend reading this to anyone who wants to become a better programmer.
¸ EWD 340 ☆ "We shall do a much better programming job, provided that we approach the task with a full appreciation of its tremendous difficulty, provided that we stick to modest and elegant programming languages, provided that we respect the intrinsic limitations of the human mind and approach the task as Very Humble Programmers.
I planned to restart my readings of the EWDs with this humbling article (which was also his Turing Award Lecture).
It deals with how insignificant a programmer is compared to the machines and the underlying concepts that s/he is pitted against.
It elucidates the importance of good design and abstraction in Computer Science, the necessity to share your views when you feel something about a field is wrong but the herdmentality tells you otherwise, the firm grounding in correctness for the programs that are written.
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