KNUTH LITERATE PROGRAMMING PDF

Leave Feedback Donald Knuth. CSLI, , pg. I believe that the time is ripe for significantly better documentation of programs, and that we can best achieve this by considering programs to be works of literature. Hence, my title: "Literate Programming. The practitioner of literate programming can be regarded as an essayist, whose main concern is with exposition and excellence of style.

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Start your review of Literate Programming Write a review Aug 20, Josh Berry rated it it was amazing For the most part, I will assume that folks picking up this book are already predisposed to like the ideas. I will say that it provides a very nice historical context into how software creation has progressed. In particular, the essay on "goto" statements was a lot more fun than would have been expected. The retrospective is fascinating to get an idea of just how Knuth approaches For the most part, I will assume that folks picking up this book are already predisposed to like the ideas.

The retrospective is fascinating to get an idea of just how Knuth approaches software construction. I have since bought the TeXbook and related material to see any insights that gives. It would be a delight to see how he sketched the high level design of the system. Rather, the point is that this style can more easily motivate others including your future self to read an implementation, such that they can more easily find the bugs.

This is an argument that is very appealing to me. Especially in what I perceive as the current environment where the popular currents feel that they are trying to remove all "considered harmful" practices such that they can not be used even for valid uses. I look forward to at least trying these techniques on more of my side projects, while keeping the dream of using it on a large one. But the central thesis of the book, literate programming, just did not work for me, at least not in the examples provided.

But it works for some people -- the approach still has its adherents, and I certainly feel more in sympathy with them than with the "comments as an antipattern" crowd. Mar 21, Saharvetes rated it really liked it Recommends it for: all programmers Shelves: maths-cs This is a collection of material by Knuth about the philosophy and practice of Literate Programming, his idea of programs as literature.

All programmers today claim to understand the importance of readable code, and slogans like "Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute" are occasionally heard from several quarters; however, with most programmers, such noble intentions seem to stop at the intention of writing a lot of comments to document This is a collection of material by Knuth about the philosophy and practice of Literate Programming, his idea of programs as literature.

All programmers today claim to understand the importance of readable code, and slogans like "Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute" are occasionally heard from several quarters; however, with most programmers, such noble intentions seem to stop at the intention of writing a lot of comments to document their code.

It is only the literate programming system that really takes the idea seriously and to its logical conclusion, by 1 freeing the programmer to write code in whatever order is appropriate for exposition, not the order that the compiler wants, and, more generally, 2 being a system for writing a document that contains the program, not for documenting a program after it has been written.

Chapters 4 to 7 are the real meat of the book, or at least what a reader may expect from the title: Chapter 4 is Literate Programming , the original article that introduced Literate Programming; Chapter 5 is Programming Pearls: Sampling by Jon Bentley, in which Bentley introduced Literate Programming to the readers of the Communications of the ACM through his column; and Chapter 6 is Programming Pearls, Continued: Common Words , the follow-up column in which Knuth wrote a literate program as asked, accompanied by a review by Doug McIlroy.

Literature deserves literary criticism, and McIlroy sets a wonderful example I wish program reviews had become a regular feature. Chapter 9 has excerpts from Mathematical Writing , another wonderful book that came out of a course on mathematical writing at Stanford taught by Knuth.

It consists of informal class discussions on programming style and examining real literate programs written by other students, written by a student, Paul Roberts. It is not an ideal book for evangelizing literate programming, however; one wishes that someone, preferably Knuth, had written a book that is not so tied to the particular combination of Pascal and TeX with its documentation designed for paper, with page numbers and indexes , unfamiliar to the majority of programmers today.

The advantages mathematicians have when it comes to programming are experience with ways to precisely describe algorithms and logic and experience reasoning from first principles. In other words, literate programming promises many -- though not all -- of the benefits of formal methods without some of the hassle.

The essays on structured programming are pure bonuses. Sure, all modern programming languages are designed around structured programming principles. It includes significant useful and pragmatic programming advice.

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Literate Programming

Oct 3, Literate programming: Knuth is doing it wrong Literate programming advocates this: Order your code for others to read, not for the compiler. Beautifully typeset your code so one can curl up in bed to read it like a novel. Keep documentation in sync with code. I have two beefs with it: the ends are insufficiently ambitious by focusing on a passive representation; and the means were insufficiently polished, by over-emphasizing typesetting at the cost of prose quality. Elaboration, in reverse order: Canonizing typesetting over organization When I look around at the legacy of literate programming, systems to do so-called semi- or quasi-literate programming dominate. These are systems that focus on generating beautifully typeset documentation without allowing the author to arbitrarily order code.

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Literate programming

Start your review of Literate Programming Write a review Aug 20, Josh Berry rated it it was amazing For the most part, I will assume that folks picking up this book are already predisposed to like the ideas. I will say that it provides a very nice historical context into how software creation has progressed. In particular, the essay on "goto" statements was a lot more fun than would have been expected. The retrospective is fascinating to get an idea of just how Knuth approaches For the most part, I will assume that folks picking up this book are already predisposed to like the ideas. The retrospective is fascinating to get an idea of just how Knuth approaches software construction.

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