[erlang-questions] Refactoring in anger (Felix Gallo)

Garrett Smith g@REDACTED
Sun Aug 9 17:32:23 CEST 2015

Weird, I'm not getting some of these emails - I got Joe's reply but
not David's :/

On Sun, Aug 9, 2015 at 10:04 AM, Joe Armstrong <erlang@REDACTED> wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 9, 2015 at 8:25 AM, J David Eisenberg
> <jdavid.eisenberg@REDACTED> wrote:
>> Felix Gallo wrote:
>>> Nevertheless, if you're going to level a thundering, public j'accuse at
>>> someone who has clearly gone to great effort to provide a beginner
>>> experience for erlang newbies, without (apparently) first contacting him
>>> privately and suggesting improvements in a constructively critical manner,
>>> please have the decency to run the code that you have etched into your
>>> stone tablets *before* you hold them aloft and, with fiery mane ablaze in
>>> the evening sun, present them as the replacement for the gentleman's work.
>>> There are many "problems" with the etudes code.  I'm not sure that
>>> introducing a complex exception handling workflow is one of them, to be
>>> frank, pedagogically, at the moment that the student is trying to
>>> understand pattern matching and function headers.  Could be.  But I think
>>> we can say it's a matter of taste.
>>> And that's what really rubs me the wrong way about Garrett's post.  Being
>>> 'very preachy', even when volubly disclaimed, is still pretty tasteless.
>>> But being 'very preachy' and then slapping up code you haven't even run
>>> once, directly in opposition to your preaching's core point: that's
>>> hypocritical, and super tasteless.  And I enjoy my rich dark ironic comedy
>>> as much as the next guy, but come on.
>>> F.
>> Author of Etudes here.
>> There I was at Pepe's Tacos in Las Vegas, waiting for my meal, and I decided
>> to read the Erlang questions mail list and see what's going on. As the story
>> unfolded, I started cackling with laughter, until I realized that half
>> the people
>> in the restaurant were staring at me like "What the hell is wrong with this
>> crazy white guy laughing at his phone?"
>> So no, I'm not even remotely offended.

As I often work in libraries, cafes, and bars I've built the
reputation around town as the crazy guy buried in his laptop laughing
and cursing to himself.

Of course any time I say anything negative about anything I'm
concerned how people will feel about it and I did let myself go a
bit... thank you for your generous response here :)

> Hello David, nice to see you in here :-)


> Garret was of course attacking your code, which is not the same thing
> as attacking you.

Oh, that's not true for many people - as they and their code are one :) But yes.

> If we espouse to beautiful code we must expect people to attack the code
> when they think it is unbeautiful - this is not an attack on the person who
> wrote the code, but an opportunity to show how we think it could be done better.
> Actually if we just replaced the bad code with better code and no discussion
> we would learn nothing. So I value both your contribution, for giving
> us something to talk about in the first place, and Garrett for banging
> on it a bit :-)

And I hope this spirit rises above what others might see as bad taste.
The point, for me, is to raise specific points for the sake of
improving. Right or wrong, the process of thinking about this, writing
code, discussing - it's what will strengthen the community and how we
use and teach Erlang.

The ranting is just my personal demon :)

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