[Cialug] Learning the 'C' language
mrdovey at iedu.com
Wed Oct 12 09:52:37 CDT 2005
Josh More wrote:
| I would argue that the one thing that the open source world doesn't
| need is more C/C++ coders.
| If you want to contribute to a project in meaningful ways, I would
| * Morph the code into a comment style that works with NaturalDocs,
| so that other programmers can have an API reference.
| * Adjust the end user documentation so that it is useful
| * Start political manuvering to combine similar projects and share
| * Provide project management to help the devs agree on priorities
| and meet deadlines.
Hmm. Ok, I'll argue with you. I think you're partially right - in that
people who _only_ know how to write compilable code (in any language)
are minimally useful. The same is true of those people who can't grasp
that C and C++ are very different languages with only cosmetic
similarities and fundamentally different paradigms (a detail that
even/especially Dennis and Bjarne have agreed on in both
news:comp.lang.c and news:comp.lang.c++).
I'll argue further that more damage has been done to projects by
clueless designers and clueless documentation producers than by anyone
else involved. The former are productivity wasters of the worst kind and
the latter spoil the usefulness of even the highest quality work for
anyone subsequently involved.
Part of the cluefulness required is a knowledge of "how things work" in
order to be able to even begin to understand "what it takes". To attempt
to design software without that knowledge - or to document it - leads
directly to "faking it" (and indirectly to such phenomena as "Halt,
retry, fail?" messages).
It seems to me counter-productive to discourage anyone (especially
volunteers) seeking to increase their knowledge, experience, and
involvement - or to shunt them away from where their interests lie.
But then, I've never had much success convincing geeks to "Start
political manuvering" - YMMV.
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