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   Re: [xml-dev] Re: XML and Complex Systems (was Re: [xml-dev] Re: An Arch

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> > I think we'd all be better off if there were far fewer and far better
> programmers.  Call me a snot, but IMHO A programmer who cannot understand the
> basic divide-and-conquer algorithmic imperatives that are the foundation of
> computer science, and that are properly enforced by functional programming,
> should be quarantined from *any* computer language.
> >
> In an ideal world all programmers would be diligent, intelligent individuals
> who had a firm grasp of computer science principles that would help them solve
> all their mundane programming tasks in as O(log n) time whilst spending their
> free time discussing the merits of functional programming languages and why
> Emacs is the greatest text editor to have ever been invented.

I think you're mixing up indications here.  Programming skill is orthogonal to the tools you use.  Many programmers I respect, including some of my colleagues at work, use GUI tools.

Also, fine-tuning optimization is a task best left to when it's needed.  A good programmer can jot off a more efficient algorithm without having to think hard about it, but they can also optimize scientifically when needed.

If you don't think this is important, you should take care never to curse any apps you ever use when they perform poorly.

> Unfortunately we don't live in that world. XML is a web technology that is
> managed by the World Wide Web Consortium, it is unlikely that any other field
> in Information Technology is as much a haven for non-Computer Scientists as
> web programming which is evidenced[0] by the amount of people whose sum total
> knowledge of CS seems to have come from the programming efficiently section of
> "Programming Perl"

As I told Paul, my idea of a computer scientist is not one who went to school to study it (I reserve such chauvanism for the term "engineer" ;-) ).  Many learn from observation and practice.  This is no excuse not to learn.

> > Yeah.  And they also decided that the good old process, which God intended
> as the fundamental unit of CPU scheduling, be primped up with the addition of
> "lightweight" processes (AKA threads).
> >
> Threads are a nice idea, I haven't heard many coherent arguments against them
> besides "they are hard to program" which given the previous statements you
> made I doubt are your reasons for disliking them..

Mostly, I was trolling.  Threads are in many ways a hack that lie between heavyweight  CPU-driven dispatch, and super-light-weight user-level dispatch.  I usually deal with thread without complaint (decent programming skills usually minimize, if they cannot eliminate, the complexity of thread processing), but they are an easy target when one comes along with a taunt about any UNIX-like system's introduction of bi-directional pipes.

> If I decide to hold a contest of skill open to the general public,
> contestants will be required to remove their hooded cloaks and
> shave their beards before entering.

BTW, I must say I find your tag lines quite entertaining, and I rarely find tag lines entertianing.

Uche Ogbuji                               Principal Consultant
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com               +1 303 583 9900 x 101
Fourthought, Inc.                         http://Fourthought.com 
4735 East Walnut St, Boulder, CO 80301-2537, USA
XML strategy, XML tools (http://4Suite.org), knowledge management


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