Self Wright

Tag: control

I’m getting somewhat peeved with the repetitive claims that C is so fast.

It isn’t. it never was. It’s just that the language is fairly transparent down to the machine level so when you change something in the C code, you can predict the effect on the compiled machine code.

That doesn’t make it fast, it only ingratiates the control-freak aspect of most programmers.

But what about creative composition? In order to be creative one must first gain control of the medium. One can not even begin to think about organizing a great photograph without having the skills to make it happen.

In engineering, as in other creative arts, we must learn to do analysis to support our efforts in synthesis.

One cannot build a beautiful and functional bridge without a knowledge of steel and dirt and considerable mathematical technique for using this knowledge to compute the properties of structures.

Similarly, one cannot build a beautiful computer system without a deep understanding of how to “previsualize” the process generated by the procedures one writes.

Gerald Sussman, Foreword to “The Little Lisper”

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