[erlang-questions] Erlang web servers challenge

OvermindDL1 overminddl1@REDACTED
Mon Jul 11 05:19:10 CEST 2011

I hope that is a joke.  I inhaled 1200 page manuals like popcorn when I was
a student 20 years ago, and still do to this day.  I *hope* that being lazy
is their only problem.  Yeesh...
On Jul 10, 2011 7:33 PM, "Richard O'Keefe" <ok@REDACTED> wrote:
> On 9/07/2011, at 2:44 AM, Ulf Wiger wrote:
>> Having said this, I invite anyone who goes through that kind of exercise
to share their results. Not only will it help you evaluate the experiment
honestly; it will increase the store of experiments that can be copied and
tailored to the specific challenges of the next project.
> I had an unpleasant experimental experience of my own last year.
> Let me first give you the lesson I learned, and then the background.
> LESSON: Expect your experiment to surprise you,
> probably by showing the experiment was a waste of time.
> Background: I'm sick of arguments about style. To my mind, it is so
> obvious that baStudlyCaps isAVeryStupidWayToWriteIndeed and I
> cannotUnderstandWhyOtherPeopleDoNotSeeThat. But they don't. My zeroth,
> the New Zealand Anglican Church has even brought out an electronic
> version of the liturgy called WePray, in a desperate attempt to seem
> hip. (Since it is only available for an operating system sold by what
> may be the largest software company to have been convicted to software
> piracy, I wonder what their ethics committee were doing. But I digress.)
> So I devised a little language called Chatterton
> (http://www.cs.otago.ac.nz/cosc345/chatterton.pdf),
> which allowed me to mechanically produce several style variants of
> some sample programs and ask some 3rd year software engineering students
> to find some mistakes in them.
> What I expected was one of three things:
> - no measurable effect
> - more readable code (i.e., NOT baStudlyCaps) being easier to fix
> - more familiar (i.e., JustLikeXingJava) being easier to fix.
> What I *got* was students telling me they couldn't read code on
> paper; they needed syntax-colouring IDEs (the listings all fitted
> on a single sheet of paper and used black-and-white styling) and
> ideally a debugger so they could find mistakes by stepping through
> the code. I also got students telling me that it was horribly
> unreasonable of me to expect them to read a 30-page manual; NOBODY
> could read that much. And finding a definition of an identifier
> in a 2-page listing is just beyond human capacity; it's impossible
> to do that without the machine assistance of an IDE.
> So the whole experiment produced no worthwhile data for reasons having
> nothing to do with what I thought I was testing.
> As other people have been saying, the "Erlang web servers challenge"
> is at serious risk of producing no worthwhile data.
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