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Re: Random thoughts on programming

by japhy (Canon)
on Feb 19, 2001 at 12:12 UTC ( #59355=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Random thoughts on programming

The following are based on personal experience. Those marked with a super-scripted asterisk (*) are common mantras I repeat on #perl.
  1. If someone's already done it, respect it, investigate it, use it, and build on it.
  2. Competition is healthy. Fierce competition is not. Two people working on the same project is not two people working on conflicting projects. Don't Fear the Collaborator.
  3. Programming is about finding patterns. *
  4. Not understanding something is not always a reason not to use it. Not understanding an algorithm can be a sign of laziness or ignorance. Not understanding why you're using something is a bad thing. (Case in point, people that do use CGI qw(:standard) and have no idea why.) *
  5. Code that reads like "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly" needs serious rethinking. (That is, code that is highly redundant, in the form of A; A B; A B C;.)
  6. Code should be fluent. Don't program in a stuttering manner. If this means you need to read all your code before you add more, by all means, do so.
  7. Users are evil. All users are evil. Do not trust them. Perl specifically offers the -T switch because it knows users are evil. *
  8. It helps a bit to know that program XYZ received invalid data. It helps a lot to know that program ABC sent XYZ invalid data. Learn to use stack-tracing tools (for Perl, that'd be

japhy -- Perl and Regex Hacker

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