January/February 2018 issue of acmqueue

The January/February issue of acmqueue is out now

Kode Vicious


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Originally published in Queue vol. 6, no. 5
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(newest first)

Horacio Mijail Antón Quiles | Wed, 09 Sep 2015 14:55:46 UTC

The patronizing characterization of mathematicians as unaware of the physical world sounds unamusingly uninformed. Check out how Dijkstra, probably the prototypical mathematician-turned-programmer, was writing on the 50-60's about how he co-invented interrupts to deal with printers of varying speeds while optimizing resource usage, and how meanwhile the IBM engineers (like those managed by Brooks!) were flailing around with their faulty designs. http://people.cs.clemson.edu/~mark/interrupts.html#dijkstra

sang-suan, gam | Thu, 26 Aug 2010 14:22:18 UTC

Hi KV,

i've only just discovered your columns and enjoying them :-)

i'm in agreement with what you've said in this column, but i'm curious about a comment (being not a native english speaker)...

when you say navel-gazing, do you mean our own navels, or somebody else's :-)

cheers, dazed gazer ...

V. Risak | Mon, 08 Dec 2008 09:08:55 UTC

"beautiful code" is an important topic.

Many engineering disciplines like architecture, ... strive not only for functionality but for beauty too (look at beautiful bridges, buildings, trains, ...) But I think "beauty" is not consistent with sloppy design (coding ...).

But "beauty" not only concerns engineering but basic science too. In mathematics some early proofs were not very elegant at first, but were refined later.

But there is a lot of tension. Time pressure can be in conflict with quality but also with beauty. Only very few "masters" exist ... (like D. Knuth, N. Wirth, ... ) Is it possible to teach students not only the engineering but also the "art" of coding?

Kind regards

V- Risak

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