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The Elements of Programming Style

Many years ago, I had the pleasure of working at Murray Hill Bell Labs.  My job, of all things, was making violins, but that’s a story for another time.  My office was in section D of the 5th floor of building 2, which was also where the UNIX room was.  I learned a lot from looking at the code written by the creators of C and UNIX.

It is terrific to watch Brian Kernighan giving this talk about clarity in code.  A lot of what he shows as bad examples are grist for the mill of the Daily WTF and such sites.  And while I don’t always meet all of the goals of clarity (who does?), I do try to write things so that they can be read.

That’s one of the reasons why I was so pleased when Rick showed me his hill climbing code before he wrote his blog article: it’s beautiful code.  It reads like a textbook algorithm.  Nice job, Rick.

Published Wednesday, December 30, 2009 12:01 PM by Steve Hawley


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