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

Garrett Smith <>
Thu May 5 17:15:26 CEST 2016


I can't even believe I read that - is that article a troll? It's very
convincing, apart from the content.

On Thu, May 5, 2016 at 10:04 AM, Garrett Smith <> wrote:
> 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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