[erlang-questions] Rhetorical structure of code: Anyone interested in collaborating?

Vlad Dumitrescu <>
Wed May 4 08:49:42 CEST 2016


On Wed, May 4, 2016 at 2:42 AM, Richard A. O'Keefe <>
wrote:

> On 3/05/16 7:19 PM, Vlad Dumitrescu wrote:
>
>>
>> This is true and would be useful, but I think I can see a problem (which
>> might very well be the reason why it isn't something people already do):
>> after a while, there will be literally thousands of discarded stuff. How am
>> I supposed to search and find the alternative that works, especially if I
>> am now working on a different problem than 6 months ago when the stuff was
>> originally written? Is this search faster than starting from scratch? IMHO
>> the answer is that what needs to be saved is a higher-level description,
>> not a complete brain dump of the process.
>>
>
> I think Joe Armstrong has already answered this, and with my mention of
> version control
> I thought I had addressed it.  The answer is that we should keep a lot
> more about the
> history of a program than we (specifically including me in that) do, but
> that it does not
> have to go in the source file.
>
>
I don't disagree with you, it's just that for projects larger than toys, I
don't know how to browse the history for something that i don't know what
it looks like and that might or might not be there. Taking erlide as an
example, there are 6000 files in 7000 commits in the main branch, going
back 13-14 years and if i would have saved all experiments I'd probably
have a tree of at least 5 times that much. I am certain that I wouldn't be
able to find anything faster than I would write it again from scratch.

We would need an index of the important experiments, with a reason why they
didn't were chosen for implementation and maybe a brief description of the
design, and a reference to the commits. This requires a lot of discipline
to maintain (especially when a team is working on the project, with each
person doing its own experiments).

regards,
Vlad
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