the emperor’s old clothes

Programmer? Manager thereof? Then read this – it’s C.A.R. Hoare’s acceptance speech for the 1981 Turing Award. Hoare – the guy who invented Quicksort, implemented ALGOL60 and went on to do a lot of work in the field of correctness proofs and concurrency – discusses the problems with over-complex software systems, summing up by talking about bad programming languages. ALGOL68 and PL/1 are his examples, and he uses these examples to put the knife into the then-incipient ADA standard (fun reading for anyone who went to Aber in the 80’s/90’s and had to learn this bastard):

…there are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.

Copyright © Found
Jim Finnis' personal blog

Built on Notes Blog Core
Powered by WordPress