Donald Knuth invented
literate programming and published the
TexBook as an
example. The book is great, or so I've heard from many people who've
read it. So why is literate programming is practically unused today,
at least the kind Knuth invented?
(Something else is used, namely the kind of API documentation made popular by Doxygen and used more or less well by a lot of people. I have strong opinions about that, but this post is about the demise of Knuth's invention.)
on literate programming says, in part, that it
represents a move away from writing programs in the manner and
order imposed by the computer, and instead enables programmers to
develop programs in the order demanded by the logic and flow of their
thoughts. Literate programs are written as an uninterrupted exposition
of logic in an ordinary human language, much like the text of an
Today's major programming languages allow most of that already: In
java, for example, you can call a function before the compiler has
seen that function's signature. The rest is about writing a lot of
text. I can't imagine any programming team I've seen would write
uninterrupted exposition of logic in an ordinary human language
with any efficiency, particularly not a big, somewhat modular program.
I like blogging. I started this post with half an idea and not many minutes later, everything was clear. But I do want to reread some LP books and see what I think can be transferred.