programming musings
22 Oct 2013

literate programming

I got started with literate programming many years ago, out of admiration for almost everything else i knew done by Donal Knuth, and tried my hand at it in some toyish projects in OCaml and Scheme. So it wasn't without lack of enthusiasm that i plunged into the literate world.

For reasons i've forgotten (probably better Emacs integration, perhaps simpler syntax) i chose noweb over funnelweb (i would recommend the reverse these days) and wrote a set of make functions to help create multi-file noweb projects. If memory serves, i was writing an MMIX interpreter in OCaml and a distributed job scheduler in Scheme, and i tried in both cases to use a literate style.

On paper, literate programming is great. Just take a look at Knuth's MMIXware book, Hanson's C Interfaces and Implementations or Jay MacCarthy's blog: that's definitely how i want to read and understand programs for fun and profit.

As i soon learned, that's however not the way i wanted to write programs.

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