Comments on book review

Henry Spencer henry at utzoo.UUCP
Wed May 9 06:41:08 AEST 1984

While I agree with most of Mark Miller's comments (as anyone who saw
my comments on the same issue should know), I have minor reservations
about one thing:

   Of course, not all my programming is like this and different people have
   different techniques. How you proceed also depends on how well you know the
   language and how good your memory is (mine's bad). There probably is no such
   thing as the best programming technique, just the best for you personally.

The one aspect of this statement that I'm a bit unhappy about is the
implication (which may not have been there by intent) that it doesn't
really matter what technique you use, so long as it suits you.  This
denies the possibility that there may be real differences in effectiveness
between different techniques, over and above individual variation among
the programmers using them.

I've heard too many people say "well, everybody knows that <THING> is
all just a matter of personal taste, so I'll do <THING> any way I damn
well please and you have no right to object".  Admitting the importance
of personal factors does not imply admitting that they are the only
important factors.
				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology

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