Bliss was Re: DEC program listing

Dwight K. Elvey dwight.elvey at
Mon Aug 15 12:07:05 CDT 2005

>From: "Vintage Computer Festival" <vcf at>

>I fail to see how i = i + 1 is not obvious to only but the most
>simple-minded of people :)

Hi Sellam
 I don't see what is obvious about it. When doing math
in school, I always wrote i + 1 = i, which I new was
false unless i happened to be infinity.
 Things like i + 1 =: i or i + 1 -> i make much more
sense. This typical high level language format makes
reading code confusing. Sometimes one reads left to
right for operations while others, one has to look to
the right to find the sequence and then look to the
left to complete.
 In this simple example, there is little chance of errors
but those times I've debugged errors in others code,
it has often been the order of execution that somehow
got messed up.
 Most Forth's have the concept of a VALUE that can be used
as a variable. Still, = is a question not an operation.
All action progresses left to right, top to bottom.
Reading code for an experienced person, when good names
for words are chosen, is like reading instructions
for how to complete the action.
 I know of one case that an upper management person
sent code back to the programmer and said that he
must have made a mistake. It looked like he'd sent
the specification for the code and not the actual
program. You know you are doing the right thing
with this kind of compliment. I doubt one would ever
see that happen when coding in C.

More information about the cctech mailing list