tcepsa: (Computation Suspended)
A little gem that [livejournal.com profile] gipsieee pointed me to earlier this afternoon.

Don't Wake The Programmer

I never thought of programming like this before, but after thinking about it, and about how it works for me, holy crap he's exactly right! No wonder I get so irritable when I'm interrupted abruptly--or why I can handle little interruptions reasonably well, but as soon as it goes for more than a few minutes or takes a higher level of concentration, the dream falls apart.

It also explains why thinking about a problem that I'm trying to write code for and daydreaming feel so similar ^_^
tcepsa: (PoiArcBlue)
When I grow up, I shall be able to play videogames or read past my bedtime
And my parents will not tell me that I have to go to sleep
When I grow up, I shall be able to go in the hot tub at the YMCA
And stay there until closing
When I grow up, I shall be able to have peanut butter and jelly for every meal
And ice cream whenever I want
When I grow up, I shall be able to skip my shower or bath
Unless I want one
When I grow up, I shall be able to leave my things lying wherever I want
And nobody will tell me to pick them up
When I grow up, I shall be able to have my own house
And rooms for all my toys
When I grow up, I shall be able to write many wonderful books
And people will love my stories
When I grow up, I shall be able to use a snowblower
To spend less time shoveling and more time playing in the snow piles
When I grow up, I shall be able to wear whatever clothes I want
And nobody will tell me that they're not nice enough or cool enough
When I grow up, I shall be able to make a huge blanket fort
And nobody will tell me to take it down
When I grow up, I shall be able to have a job in a research lab
And do awesome science experiments all day

Are we there yet?
tcepsa: (Computation Suspended)
I was worried that my Software Engineering class this semester would be analogous to my undergrad Economics for Engineers class, but now I think it has the potential to rank as one of my favorite classes (though I maintain that it also, as a topic, has great potential for being analogous to my Econ class; the instructor and the other students seem determined not to let that happen though ^_^)

A little background )

Well and good; I am reasonably convinced that documenting design decisions is something that ought to be done. However, I am also strongly convinced that one often-overlooked aspect of such documentation is that it theoretically will need to be referenced at some point in the future, and that the person doing the referencing is almost certainly not going to have the inclination or patience to read through the entire document trying to find the relatively small portion that is relevant to the matter at hand for them.

Does an effective method exist for tracking such things as design decisions? Are there tools out there to facilitate this? It seems like tagging might be able to offer some help, but I don't know. Similarly, does it make sense to keep such documents in plaintext (or maaaaayyyyybe HTML) and track them in a version control system? Is there such a system specifically for such documents?

If there's not, but you were given the opportunity to provide input on a design for one, what features would you want it to have?

Is this a problem that can be solved by such tools, or does a methodology or discipline need to be developed as well and then applied in order to really work? Does such a discipline already exist?

Disclaimer: Yes, I am tentatively entertaining the notion of trying to actually build something like that if it does not already exist. However, the odds of this actually happening are rather small, given other projects currently taking up my attention (such as the aforementioned class; something tells me that this undertaking would be bigger than makes sense for a semester project ~grin~). On the other hand, if I suddenly find myself between projects, and nobody else has actually put something together by then, I might have a go at it and it would be great to know what other people would want to see in it as well as my own ideas of what would look good.

Or maybe I'll just learn Lojban ~wry grin~
tcepsa: (Computation Suspended)
I'm currently enjoying The Little Schemer as a way to attempt to learn more of the Lisp/Scheme programming paradigm. It's been a useful book for me so far, in that I'm 30 pages in and haven't yet had to stop and go, "Wait, WTF?!"*

Cut for rambling )

*Actually, looking at it that way, I should try to pick it up and read a single page each day. I'd be farther along now if I had done it that way... ~wry grin~

**Obligatory reference to Plato's Allegory of the Cave. It's been awhile since I read it, but I think that he was trying to take it one step further: that the physical world we observe is due to something else, like the two-dimensional shadows cast on a cave wall by three-dimensional objects with a light behind them. Whether he explicitly said so or not, the physical world that we perceive might well be such a shadow of what we call mathematics.

***L-mode is what I'm using to refer to the more logical/linguistic operations of the brain (also known as "left brained", though my understanding is that term contains implications that aren't entirely accurate).

****~blink~ I think I just reduced Understanding to Graph Theory. Or at least I made a claim of some kind of analog between the two.
tcepsa: (LiberalBias)
Snagged this from a comment on the CPU blog. It's a link to a fun video presentation on happiness, and it's got some really fascinating information about the differences between synthetic happiness (what we create when we don't get what we want) and natural happiness (what we create when we do get what we want)--and how perhaps natural happiness is overrated.

Towards the end he brings up a quotation from Adam Smith (economist and moral philosopher) that made me go, "Oh my god, he's talking about [livejournal.com profile] 3ravensringo's Theory of Cornflakes!"

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