Linked by RandomGuy on Wed 10th Jun 2009 20:00 UTC
General Development This series is aimed at programming language aficionados. There's a lot of very abstract writing about programming languages and a lot of simple minded "language X sux!" style blog posts by people who know next to nothing about programming. What I feel is sorely missing is a kind of article that deliberately sacrifices the last 10% of precision that make the theoretical articles dry and long winded but still makes a point and discusses the various trade offs involved. This series is meant to fill that void and hopefully start a lot of discussions that are more enlightening than the articles themselves. I will point out some parallels in different parts of computing that I haven't seen mentioned as well as analyze some well known rules of thumb and link to interesting blogs and articles.
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Benefit of the doubt
by RandomGuy on Wed 10th Jun 2009 21:32 UTC
RandomGuy
Member since:
2006-07-30

Sorry if you hate my article.

Like I stated in the introduction I deliberately sacrificed some precision to make it shorter.
I also wanted to combine ideas in new and (at least to me) interesting ways. These two factors make my writing very vulnerable to criticism. I expected that.

I didn't set out to write the most perfect explanation of big O notation or templates. That was never the point of this article. I wanted to give the noob reader a rough idea of the concepts that's short enough to be skipped easily by the pros. Everybody knows how to use Google and Wikipedia.

Well, if everybody completely missed the point of this article I guess my writing does suck. ;)
All I'm asking is this:
Don't think I'm an idiot because I didn't write a 10 page article that reiterates a simple idea for the 10billionth time. The facts are obvious and you don't get criticized. It's easy to write this kind of article. Easy and pointless.

Give me the benefit of the doubt.
I spent countless hours thinking about and rephrasing each and every part of this article.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Benefit of the doubt
by jack_perry on Wed 10th Jun 2009 21:38 in reply to "Benefit of the doubt"
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

Another option you have would be to thank the people who pointed out the errors, imprecisions, and flat-out incomprehensible parts of your article, then keep their comments in mind when you write the sequel.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Benefit of the doubt
by jacquouille on Wed 10th Jun 2009 21:42 in reply to "Benefit of the doubt"
jacquouille Member since:
2006-01-02

Re-quoting you:

Still it doesn't feel nearly as wrong as writing templates in C++

all this fuss just to express the type equivalent of a shrug is ridiculous

With such sentences, you've been asking for it!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Benefit of the doubt
by RandomGuy on Wed 10th Jun 2009 21:56 in reply to "RE: Benefit of the doubt"
RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

You forgot the "to me".
But yeah, that probably wasn't all that smart.
I wasn't exactly sure where on the scale from "obvious and boring" to "provocative" my article would be.
I prefer a flame war to a shrug any day of the week.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Benefit of the doubt
by MacTO on Wed 10th Jun 2009 22:06 in reply to "Benefit of the doubt"
MacTO Member since:
2006-09-21

I didn't set out to write the most perfect explanation of big O notation or templates. That was never the point of this article.


It seems as though a lot of people were left scratching their head over this one. I was left wondering if it was an analogy, because big O notation has nothing to do with programming languages. It is about algorithms, and algorithms are language neutral (though their implementations clearly aren't language netural).

You may want to look at things like context free grammars, and non-deterministic finite automaton in order to understand how programming languages work. Once you can explain that in a clear and concise manner for the layman, maybe you'd have a happier following.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Benefit of the doubt
by RandomGuy on Wed 10th Jun 2009 22:25 in reply to "RE: Benefit of the doubt"
RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

It is an analogy.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Benefit of the doubt
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 11th Jun 2009 05:54 in reply to "Benefit of the doubt"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Eh, I thought it was decent. There isn't enough discussion of programming languages here. I didn't realize that there were this many pedantic programmers unable to adapt to a lose informal treatment of even the subject of the programming language landscape.

Reply Parent Score: 3