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Code Overhead

2002-02-01 16:36:57+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

Dave Winer took some cheap shots at overhead in C# versus Frontier, but it got me thinking about how much boilerplate crap I've come to see as acceptable. When I was first exposed to Cobol[Wiki] I said "150 lines, minimum?", but now the C system under which I spend most of my time is a multi-threaded monstrosity which pushes huge responsibilities back on to the programmers. Even Perl has the obligatory:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w use strict;

at the head of every program. The purpose of a good programming language is to not bog down the programmer with cognitive load, to let the algorithm be expressed succinctly and clearly. It's very easy to lose track of just how succinct and clear the algorithm can be at its core. Thanks for the reminder, Dave.

[ related topics: Dave Winer Perl Open Source Software Engineering ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:00+00 by: ebradway

Here, the difference between C and C# or Frontier stand out. The guiding principle behind C isn't "don't bog down the programmer", it's "don't get in the way of the programmer". Remember, C should be thought of as a structured, portable assembly language and not a high-level language. It would be as big a pain in the ass to write embedded systems code in Frontier as it would be to write a database application in C (not that we haven't done THAT before).

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:00+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yep. It happens that my current project is writing a database application in C. Those who do not learn from history...