Arnt Gulbrandsen
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2011-07-30

Truth is beauty, beauty is truth

I'm throwing away old books. The room with all the old bookshelves is getting a new life, and in the process of moving the books to the new shelves in a different room, some books… don't come along.

One such is Beautiful code, an anthology to support Amnesty International. I bought it for one chapter, Code in motion, in which Christopher Seiwald and Laura Wingerd elaborate on Christopher's earlier Seven pillars of pretty code (go read it, it's good).

I want to throw the book away. The other chapters are just so much filler. But I can't bring myself to throw away the figures on pages 534 and 535, those are too valuable. Must have those.

Some of the code I've written since 1992 (when my first significant contribution was accepted into an open source project) is still there, bits of it heavily used. The parts of my code that goes on working without much change shares one characteristic: It reads clearly and easily. It's well-documented, well-commented and there's hardly any nesting.

I spy a causal relationship: Truth is beauty, beauty is truth.