by Donald E. Knuth (Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Literate programming is a methodology that combines a programming. Literate Programming (Lecture Notes) [Donald E. Knuth] on *FREE * shipping on qualifying offers. This anthology of essays from Donald Knuth, the. Christopher J. Van Wyk, Literate programming, Communications of the ACM, v n.7, E. Donald, Jill C. Knuth, TEX, Encyclopedia of Computer Science, 4th.

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Other people have implemented MMIX by now. There should be no restrictions on the order in which the program fragments resulting from this decomposition are presented, so that this order can be chosen so as to obtain an optimal exposition; this may even involve bringing together fragments whose location in the actual program is quite unrelated, but which have some logical connection. None of that helped for a concept that was always going to be a hard sell.

Virtual machine of choice? Such an author, with thesaurus in hand, chooses the names of variables carefully and explains what each variable means. A really good days’ work might be a half-dozen code reviews for some other coders, and touching your own keyboard only to print out the PDFs.

The following snippet of the wc literate programmming [11] shows how arbitrary descriptive phrases in a natural language are used in a literate program to create macros, which act as new “operators” in the literate programming language, and hide chunks of code or other macros. prpgramming

There are no constraints to your programming and that is awesome. Moreover, who documents them in a pedagogical style that is easy to understand? Like many of my cow-orkers I’ve configured my editor to hide the tomdocs in normal use. In short, you have got it exactly barse-ackwards: Examine source code metrics lines, complexity, etc.

Knuth: Literate Programming

High quality documentation facilitates program modification with fewer conceptual errors and resultant defects. Most actual oral cultures placed proframming high premium on the ability to accurately retain core information e.


He said to me that I should publish my program for TeX. My pet theory is that programmers are driven by a constant feeling of obsolescence: Re-think or refactor code which is difficult to understand. The fewer comments the better. I use the following list of requirements to imply a definition of a literate program and the minimum set of tools which are needed to prepare, use, and study the resulting orogramming.

At that time, we had about 25 fonald in our group that would meet every Friday. Knuth wrote a “novel” which explains the code of the interactive fiction game Colossal Cave Adventure. Then when I started writing TeX in this period I began the implementation of TeX in October ofand I finished it in May 78it was consciously done with structured programming ideas. Literate programs utilize sections which enable the developer to describe blocks of code in a donaldd manner.

So who is that text or literate comment for? In other words, the name of one macro can usefully be a parameter to another macro. And I assumed that you do it anyway, because there’s no real downside for this in many languages.

If it were not necessary for you or other developers to understand the code, then high level languages would not be needed. The typographic processing of literate programs produces code listings with elegantly formatted documentation and source code.

Making programs really big by duplicating efforts, and working around workarounds, using Java seems to “work” for strange values of workso donsld this is a blub thing?

No1 on Aug 17, Changing requirements are quite normal, but changing by the hour is just poor project management, no matter what the environment. The CTANGLE program is so named because it takes a given web and moves the sections from their web structure into the order required by C; the advantage of programming in CWEB is that the algorithms can be expressed in “untangled” progeamming, with each section explained separately.

Literate Programming

Actually, literate programming uses a doald that differs from this only trivially from a formal standpoint, but has a great advantage in practical terms: Literate project management can tell you what all these files do, do pre and post compiling options linting, concatenating, minimizing, testing, dev vs production branching, etc. Your comment also suggests that you might have missed a key point; it’s not for you.


It meant doing everything took longer the first time, but at litterate point of actually writing the code, dnald coder had a really good picture of exactly what it had to do and exactly where it fitted in to the grander scheme.

Choose class names, function names, and variable names wisely. You must have a nice cushy well defined corporate job if you think that constantly changing requirements are something unusual. Many real-life codebases are written knyth a literate style because it makes a real difference on how long it will take for someone new to grok the code. This is a game changer for me.

IMO it solves the same problems that literate programming was supposed to solve, but less intrusively and more reliably. I also grant that this is not necessary to write bug free software.

Literate programming

Knuth wrote TeX in Pascal. It sounds very much like an intellectual over experiential persuit. Nobody checks in code until there is at least a paragraph that explains WHY this code was written. Anything that is logically part of the section should be moved into it, thereby reducing the complexity of the code where it is referenced. However, I would suggest that even in organization whose primary responsibility is wrangling with a messy soup of ill-defined requirements as fast as possible, there are often sub-problems whose treatment is amenable for the use of literate program, such as a library programmming a unique and non-trivial algorithm.

Lterate Pander R package renders objects into Pandoc’s markdown.