Les Schaffer schaffer at
Mon Apr 9 14:34:09 MDT 2001

David Welch said:

> What, no functional programming?

I have recently learned how to code objects in Lisp and Scheme, and its
quite interesting. because of the way the language is structured, with data
and code equivalence, one can construct objects right within the base

i have seen add-ons to scheme and lisp with very nifty class constructors,
you get inheritance trees and the whole nine yards.  and there are several
IDEs which run inside emacs and provide a decent development environment.

just ordered J. Noye's "Artificial Intelligence With Common Lisp :
Fundamental Symbolic and Numeric Processing" with a mind to try out Lisp on
one of my next projects.

Lou's thread is very interesting to me. i code more in a research or R&D
environment, and so don't face the same kinds of pressures as i think he
does. i love OO code for its expressiveness and opportunity to create
"active" data structures matched to the problem at hand.

it never occured to me till i read Lou's note that the same "good"
technology could be used to compartmentalize programmers. what i mean is, i
really like code encapsulation as a programming idea, but not to the extent
that it should be turned against workers, obviously. last year i had a
chance to code for a optical and instrumentation company, and i did not like
anything about the project. where there should have been three programmers
banging heads together and coming up with solutions to problems, instead
object technology was used to pretend to break up work into bite size pieces
that could be run by "managers". it was awful, near zero communication
opportunities between workers, no time for documentation till _after_ the
project's first and most important deadline, etc, etc.

i am reading about Extreme Programming. one of its ideas is that two
programmers sit down at the screen together, one typing, one watching and
thinking. this is the right way to do things, collectively, communication
explicit in the structure of the working environment. i wonder how managers
feel when they see two co-workers sitting together for a whole session. do
they break out the stop-watches and clipboards?

les schaffer

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