[linux-elitists] Harmful things according to google.

mike@jurney.org mike@jurney.org
Fri Jan 10 11:15:19 PST 2003

On Fri, 10 Jan 2003, Modus Operandi wrote:

> Alan DuBoff <aland@SoftOrchestra.com> looked into the void, and said:
> > OTOH, when goto is abused, it can be ugly, and often it can present more of a
> > maintenance nightmare than improper usage since programming is really a
> > matter of taste and preference as there is almost always more than one way to
> > code something.
>   "It is practically impossible to teach good programming style
>   to students that have had prior exposure to BASIC; as
>   potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope
>   of regeneration."
>   			-- Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

This is the same kind of comment people make in relation to the linux
kernel from time to time, along the lines of "imagine how good it would be
if they had some REAL engineers working on it <sitting back in office at
{sun,ibm,oracle,whatever} feeling pompous>".  I'm sure he's right that as
potential academic programmers they were ruined, given what was being
investigated at the time.  If he were entirely right, though, the Hurd
would be faster than linux;  It's not, because practical necessity should
almost always trump academic conceit.  Saying "you should never use <x>
because it's provably uglier than <y>" even when <x> is faster and
provably correct in the current case is dumb.

Michael D. Jurney

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