by Donald E. Knuth (Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Literate programming is a methodology that combines a programming. Literate Programming (Lecture Notes) [Donald E. Knuth] on *FREE * shipping on qualifying offers. This anthology of essays from Donald Knuth, the. Christopher J. Van Wyk, Literate programming, Communications of the ACM, v n.7, E. Donald, Jill C. Knuth, TEX, Encyclopedia of Computer Science, 4th.

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I have seen companies be “eclipsed by a faster, nimbler competitor” because they have a crappy codebase.

If your code is mnuth documenting” then you don’t know what documentation is. All of that is here in the pages that follow. IDE’s are probably the best middle ground, as they “know” enough about oiterate code to help you find the parts you want. Literate programming is a methodology that combines a programming language with a documentation language, thereby making programs more robust, more portable, more easily maintained, and arguably more fun to write than programs that are written only in a high-level language.

But if you looked at the details Its first goal is the latter. The literate programming metalanguage provides two important features. This neologism is from Greek “holos”, i. Some of it also seems very tied to particular languages. But Inuth would not rely on an external tool again as I don’t want the dependency. I donalc have a dog in this fight one way or the other, but something about this statement irks me.

The documentation parts of the program description should allow for the same freedom of expression that one would have in an ordinary technical paper. Choices about architecture are hard to test in a unit-test sense, but are worth commenting on.

Literate programming

Let us change our traditional attitude to the construction of programs: These arbitrary explanatory phrases become precise new operators, created on the fly by the programmer, forming a meta-language on top of the underlying programming language.

On the other hand, I like not using functions for code management.

Most of the code you write over the years will be thrown away Ignoring the final truth that of course everything anyone ever makes will one day be discarded, that’s not the case in some industries.


WorldMaker on Aug 17, But even doctests are a pale shadow of what LP offers. The practitioner of literate programming can be regarded as an essayist, whose main concern is with exposition and excellence of style.

See my other big comment here somewhere; in that case, the majority of the code was written once, delivered, and will be in use for a few decades.

For example, there is no revision control to track changes as required by by changes in the code, there is much duplication. The testing was likewise very solid and very thorough tests were rightly based on the requirements and the interfaces as designedbut I like to think that the literate programming style enforced a high quality of code and it certainly meant that the code did meet the design, which did meet the requirements.

Your mention of commit messages resonates strongly with my own professional experiences, and I’m sure with many others’ as well. Now in many programming languages, small chunks are easy to achieve in the terms of functions or objects or modules or even just variables. My hope is that this might eventually help this style to catch on in some quarters.

All quotes you tore out speak of literate programming as if it’s just a documentation system. I discovered from reading some of the articles, you know, I could find three bugs in a program that was proved correct. Yet people throw these away and leave only the code, as if working with code alone was what they do and what should be done. Reason I was asking this question is because of my current workflow.

Much of the admittedly difficult work being done by programmers today is in fact trivial.

Knuth: Literate Programming

The presentation is engaging and clear. If Microsoft had made source files XML, tens of thousands of programmers would already be putting pictures and hyperlinks in their code. I’ve been accused of not writing enough comments in the code itself and litwrate writing “novels” in the commit messages and “Literate Revision Control” is probably the best name for that sort of style.

But isn’t the point of literate exactly that? Establish structures, knuuth, and outcomes see Luke Knhth. None of that helped for a concept that was always going to be a hard sell. The main idea is to treat a program as a piece of literature, addressed to human beings rather than to a computer.


Literate programming is a programming paradigm introduced by Donald Knuth in which a knutj is given as an explanation of the program logic in a natural language, such as English, interspersed with snippets of macros and traditional source code, from which a compilable source code can be generated.

In the second style, the code is, to large extent, rearranged to the computer, scrambled due to the need of expressing ideas to human. B and C don’t work because they break the test case; A is required. While Knuth may adorn his code with extremely illuminating prose, unfortunately the same is not true for many other programmers.

Note that I think they could do it, but that they think they cannot. They should just learn how to write ok – not great, just ok – prose and get loterate over with. This particular programmlng makes it possible to Unless someone puts a kiterate above it? Programmers who gathered a reputation for doing really good thorough reviews with good comments and the ability to critique people’s code without offending anyone’s precious sensibilities we’ve all met them; people who seem to lose their sense of objectivity completely when it comes to their own code were in demand, and it was a valued and recognised skill being an ace at code reviews should be something we all want to put on our CVs, but I suspect a lot of employers basically never see it there – I have definitely worked in some places in which, if a coder isn’t typing, ;rogramming seen as not working, so management would have to be properly on board.

Like many of my cow-orkers I’ve configured my editor to hide the tomdocs in normal use. I don’t recall exactly the date now.