[texhax] (no subject)

Herbert Gintis hgintis at attbi.com
Sat Jun 7 11:41:55 CEST 2003

At 09:47 AM 6/7/2003 +0100, Chris Rowley wrote:
>I agree with everything you said, but especiallly this bit:
> > Not least of Knuth's contributions is that of making his
> > program public (not only public, but he went to considerable effort to
> > make it as accessible as possible).
         I totally agree that it is an unbelievable coup that Knuth's 
software of the 1970's survives to this day and remains quite excellent. 
However, the language he wrote it in is a complete mess. All the 
\expandafters and \csnames and Lord knows what crazy commands, the absence 
of real floating point, horrible debugging instruments, not 
object-oriented, etc. I really hate to hack this code, and would love it if 
TeX were completely rewritten in C++, Delphi, or Java conforming to modern 
programming conventions.
         By the way, I have always found it curious that Knuth is such a 
great computer theorist and a quite good mathematician, but his computer 
code (e.g., from his multi-volume book on computer algorithms, or his web, 
tangle, weave, etc.) is really quite awkward and highly inelegant. A good 
computer program should look like a haiku poem, not a tangle of 
impenetrable code, IMHO.



Herbert Gintis
Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of 
External Faculty, Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM
15 Forbes Avenue, Northampton, MA 01060
413-586-7756  (Home Office) 206-984-9873 (Fax)
Recent papers are posted on my <http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~gintis>web site.
Get Game Theory Evolving (Princeton, 2000) at 

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