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Re: [hackers-il] A Programmer's Sixth Sense

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  • Oleg Goldshmidt
    ... An experienced programmer can probably estimate whether or not he/she will be able to understand what is going on *and* whether he/she will be able to
    Message 1 of 6 , May 11, 2002
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      Shlomi Fish <shlomif@...> writes:

      > But I'm not sure if feeling how good it is, can be explained in some
      > way.

      An experienced programmer can probably estimate whether or not he/she
      will be able to understand what is going on *and* whether he/she will
      be able to maintain it if needed *before* acrually understanding what
      is going on. Attention probably latches on familiar patters, snippets
      of logic, well thought through identifiers, usage of various
      abstraction and modularization techniques (e.g. ADTs), etc.

      I suspect the basic feature is readability, including things like
      consistent indentation, judicious use of whitespace and comments, and
      on top of that come easily recognizable techniques that are perceived
      as useful and beneficial.

      It is probably easier to determine that code is bad. If it is not
      intelligible at first sight, it likely is. ;-)

      > I can give various examples. For example, I cannot understand most of the
      > code of the Linux kernel,

      You probably can, just not on the first reading. You (and me) need to
      invest significant effort. It is rumoured that Linus doesn't need
      to...

      > but I know it is well-written, just by looking at it.

      It is possible that you *know* it is well written. IMH(umble)O, there
      are pieces that are not written well at all. It is probably individual
      to a large extent.

      --
      Oleg Goldshmidt | ogoldshmidt@...
      If it aint't broken it hasn't got enough features yet.
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