Comments on book review

mark at elsie.UUCP mark at elsie.UUCP
Sat May 5 02:57:46 AEST 1984

The most complicated program I ever wrote was conceived just before I went on
a two week vacation to the north coast of Maine. The nearest terminal was
100 miles away (that I knew of). For two weeks I carefully planned the
program and wrote out the code long hand. Raising before dawn, before wife and
child, hacking, hacking hacking (no, I'm not divorced, at least not yet).
Carefully, I packed pages and pages into by suitcase and could hardly wait
till I got home. My daughter's teddy bear is still in the cabin -- a victim
of scientia.

I may have gotten as far as "main(argc,argv)" before I realized it wouldn't
work. And the final product looks nothing like what I planned in the wilds
of Maine.

It was actually a good experience, and not all wasted time. There is such a
thing as over planning. Now I sit down and work out a general plan for the
program; make sure I have math right; have an idea of what my input should
be and my output should look like; use LOTS of subroutines and VERY FEW
globals; and proceed, more or less, by the interitive programming technique.

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.

Mark J. Miller
UUCP:	decvax!harpo!seismo!rlgvax!cvl!elsie!mark
Phone:	(301) 496-5688

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