[pdftex] Re: TeX and friends and literate programming

Dok, D. van d.vandok at ecn.nl
Fri Sep 14 13:03:06 CEST 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ed L Cashin [mailto:ecashin at terry.uga.edu]
> Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 7:18 PM
> To: M. Wroth
> Cc: pdftex at tug.org
> Subject: Re: [pdftex] Re: TeX and friends and literate 
> programming (was
> Re: [pdftex] pdftex compression -- proposed addition to manual)
> In short, I am suggesting that structured code is more descriptive of
> the problem, solution, and implementation than English (or any
> conversational language) will ever be and that pdftex would be more
> flexible, maintainable, and simple if LP were avoided.  
> LP mixes code and conversational language in a highly-technical way
> that few people have the skill to pull off as program-writer or to
> appreciate as program-reader.

I can't for the life of me imagine how I would write an optimized
implementation of a complex datastructure without using plain English
to explain what's going on. If you'd allow English in comments for
explainations, why not add the possibility to make nice schematic pictures
(MetaPost), and use fonts and layouts (TeX)? ASCII is sooooo pass\'e.

The logical final step is to allow the documentation to follow a different
order than the source code, and add automatic cross-references: voil\`a,
Literate Programming.

Dennis van Dok

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