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

Garrett Smith <>
Thu May 5 17:04:21 CEST 2016


I was initially excited to read what great breakthroughs in
teaching/learning methods this piece would reveal.

But it's just terribly sad. If programming was poking at things I
didn't understand - in Python moreover - boy I'd be in another
profession. I feel bad for those students.

On Thu, May 5, 2016 at 9:51 AM, Lloyd R. Prentice <> wrote:
> Pertinent to the discussion:
>
> PROGRAMMING BY POKING: WHY MIT STOPPED TEACHING SICP
>
>  http://www.posteriorscience.net/?p=206
>
> Best wishes,
>
> LRP
>
> Sent from my iPad
>
> On May 5, 2016, at 6:07 AM, Vlad Dumitrescu <> wrote:
>
>
>
> On Thu, May 5, 2016 at 1:19 AM, Richard A. O'Keefe <>
> wrote:
>>
>>
>> On 4/05/16 6:49 PM, Vlad Dumitrescu wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> 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.
>>
>>
>> With 6000 files of totally unfamiliar code, there's no way I could find
>> anything without a map and ground approach radar.  (find . -type -f -print
>> |
>> wc  actually counts 2774 files; it did report 6186 before I got rid of all
>> the '._*' junk files you get on a Mac.)  OK, so 1344 Java files, 38 Erlang
>> files, 2 Ruby files, 1 XSLT file, and 50-odd Xtend files (which I can't
>> read
>> yet), even hamcrest (oh don't get me started on hamcrest)...
>
>
> Yeah, I think I forgot to filter out the binary files. Anyway, the point was
> that at that size, having a multitude of alternative histories, many of
> which might not be relevant at all any more, it gets exponentially harder to
> be able to find anything in there.
>
>>
>> With the ._* junk removed, I measure 33.6 MB.  This one Eclipse plugin
>> is bigger than the whole Quintus Prolog system, including manuals.
>>
>> Not only that, it's more than half the size of Pharo, which is a complete
>> Smalltalk system including the refactoring browser.  There seems to be
>> something about Java that forces systems to grow exceeding large.
>
>
> Yes, and most of the important stuff (the Erlang implementation of the
> kernel functionality) is located in another repository. I also had to
> include some third party libraries as sources, in order to not depend on
> external stuff whose availability was unreliable.
>
>>>
>>> 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).
>>
>>
>> Such a thing would, however, be extraordinarily useful for someone in my
>> position, with NO idea of where to look for ANYTHING, and a dead link to
>> documentation.  The README.md file contains this line:
>>
>>     Documentation may be found at
>>     [the project site](http://erlide.org/erlide.html).
>>
>> That site isn't supposed to expire until next year, but right now it's not
>> accessible. So yeah, I'd find lots of history very helpful. And lots of
>>
>> advice for the traveller.
>
>
> Thanks for pointing that out, I fixed the link. I will try to keep such a
> high-level history from now on, I'm sure there will be a lot to learn for
> myself too.
>
> best regards,
> Vlad
>
>
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