[erlang-questions] Two beautiful programs - or web programming made easy

Richard O'Keefe <>
Mon Feb 14 21:12:03 CET 2011

Speaking of beautiful programs, some thought must always be given to
the physical presentation of code.  I wanted to see what this
beautiful code of Joe's was all about, to learn from it.

On screen, the code is green letters on a black background,
but the physical width of the column is too narrow for the text,
so it's full of weird unsemantic line breaks.

On paper, it's a very pale grey on a white background, so the
half hour I spent at home last night trying to decipher it was
totally wasted.

Whatever anyone says about CSS, it _does_ let
you provide different renderings for screen and paper so that
you _can_ have kewl whizzo hey-ma-look-what-I-can-do looks on
the screen and _also_ have something that works on paper.  And
for "here is how to write an important kind of code" pages,
isn't it _worth_ committing to paper for study?

I also spent quarter of an hour last night grousing to my wife
about a fancy automatic public convenience, Exeloo brand, that
I'd had occasion to use.  It's very like a Javascript web page,
really.  You want water?  Put your hands where a sensor can
detect them, and it electronically turns a switch to turn the
water on.  You don't want it?  Take your hands away.  You know
how you are supposed to wash your hands for the duration of a
verse of Twinkle Twinkle little star?
  Get soap on hands.
  Put hands under sensor.
  Twinkle twink... where's the rest of the water?
  Describe the designer's ancestry for five generations.
  Twinkle twi... why does the water keep stopping?
  Recite the designer's ancestry for ten generations,
    during which dispenser helpfully deposits more soap
    on hands, twice.
  Twinkle twink...
  Recite War and Peace.
  Twinkle twi...
A simple tap would have been a *far* better user interface.

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