Donald Knuth. “Literate Programming ()” in Literate Programming. CSLI, , pg. I believe that the time is ripe for significantly better documentation of . Literate programming: Knuth is doing it wrong. Literate programming advocates this: Order your code for others to read, not for the compiler. Literate. What is Literate programming? Literate programming is a style of programming invented by Donald Knuth, where the main idea is that a program’s .

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Literate Programming

But then I also realized how much need there was for examples of good-sized programs, that could be considered as reasonable models, not just small programs.

The snippets of the literate wc above show how an explanation of the program and its source code are interwoven. Many programming environments are completely controlled by specific vendors, who may well choose to switch from flat text to rich markup for their own reasons.

It should be an unusual but not exceptional case when a module contains no documentation. No longer does the English commentary injected into a program have to be hidden in comment delimiters at the top of the file, or under procedure headings, or at the end of lines.

But sigh it probably isn’t.

The number of lines in a file is As I was writing TeX I was using for the second time in my life ideas called “structured programming”, which were revolutionizing the way computer programming was done in the middle 70s. Moreover, who documents them in a ljterate style that is easy to understand? FunnelWeb Tutorial Manual, pg programmibg. All of that is here in the pages that follow. In some sense, the literate programming system is just an enhanced macro substitution package tuned to the task of rearranging source code.

Later it is reshuffled “tangled”, i. Literate programming macros can hide any chunk of code behind themselves, and be used inside any low-level machine language operators, often inside logical operators such as ” if “, ” while ” or ” case “.

A complex piece of software consists of simple parts and simple relations between those kiterate the programmer’s task is to state those parts and those relationships, in whatever order is best for human comprehension not in kbuth rigidly determined order like top-down or bottom-up.

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Furthermore, several errors were unfortunately introduced on the cover of the printing: Please send suggested corrections to knuth-bug cs. This particular trick makes it possible to Code sections improve on verbose commenting by providing litefate ability to write descriptive paragraphs while avoiding cluttering the source code.

Literate programming

Dobbs Journal, Marchpg. The literate program should have logical subdivisions. The program description should describe parts of the algorithm as they occur in the design process, rather than in the completed program text. Quick introduction to literate programming by Chris Lee. Drawing and Literate Programming. It may be any textual programmig that aids the understanding of the problem. The grand totals must be initialized to zero at literte beginning of the program. Of course, I developed TeX so that it would try to continue a history of hundreds of years of different ideas.

Document source progra,ming using an API documentation standard doxygen. Writing a literate program is a proframming more work than writing a normal program. Structured design is the process of controlling the overall design of a system or program so the pieces fit together neatly, yet remain sufficiently decoupled that they may be independently modified. At that time, we had about 25 people in our group that would meet every Friday.

Literate programming is NOT about documentation programmijg the first place. There are many factors involved in developing excellent software. Macros are not the same as “section names” in standard documentation. Literate programming was first introduced by Donald E.

Literate programming is a programming paradigm introduced by Donald Knuth in which a program is given as an explanation of the program logic in a natural language, such as English, interspersed with snippets of macros and traditional source code, from which a compilable source code can be generated. This type of subroutine is called an “open” subroutine.

From Theory to Implementation”, Morgan Kaufmann, Writing a literate program is a lot more work than writing a normal program.

The architecture and design is explained at a conceptual level. The unraveling of the chunks can be done in any place in the literate program text file, not necessarily in the order lkterate are sequenced in the enclosing chunk, but as is demanded by the logic reflected in the explanatory text that envelops litedate whole program.


Quoting from Kernighan and Plauger, ‘Top-down design and successive refinement attack a programming task by specifying it in the most general terms, then expanding these into more programminv more specific and detailed actions, until the whole program is complete. The style of literate programming combines source code and documentation into a single source file.

The philosophy behind CWEB is that an experienced system programmer, who wants to provide the best possible documentation of his or her software products, needs two things simultaneously: It can’t gloss over the tough places. Hanson demonstrates that “literate programming” is a viable approach to creating works of craft as well as works of art. This approach was implemented at Stanford University as a part of research on algorithms and digital typography.

Establish structures, processes, and outcomes see Luke Holman. The basic idea of literate programming is to take a fundamentally different starting point for the presentation of programs to human readers, without any direct effect on the program as seen by the computer. Innovative ideas, critical technical knowledge, algorithmic solutions, and unusual coding constructions are clearly documented. The documenting power of such a simple device is remarkable.

He sent me a report, which was pages long, about progrsmming system-it was inspired by “The Ghost in the Machine”. We understand a complicated system by understanding its simple parts, and by understanding the simple relations between those parts and their immediate neighbors. Let us programmng our traditional attitude to the construction of programs: This book is the first in a series of eight volumes that contain archival forms of my published papers, together with new material.

He proposed a way of taking a complicated program and breaking it into small parts.

WEB’s design encourages writing programs in small chunks which Knuth prograamming modules he also used the term sections. However, I promise to reply in due time.