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Programming Software

Interview With Ward Cunningham 31

CowboyRobot writes "Ward Cunningham developed the first wiki, wrote the Fit test framework, is the co-inventor of CRC cards, and is now promoting the concept of technical debt. He recently won the Dr. Dobb's Excellence in Programming Award and was interviewed by that publication. 'The creator of the Wiki dishes on the Wiki, Wikipedia's policies, OO design, technical debt, CoffeeScript and Perl, how to survive as a veteran programmer, and doing the simplest thing that could possibly work.' Cunningham is given the chance to explain his philosophy of coding: 'I like the picture and I like the look of the code. It's only 40 lines, but every line carried some careful thought. There was a learning curve there that surprised me because the programs looked short. The most rewarding work I've done this year is digging through that code and understanding what it does and understanding what it didn't do, and how to approach the problem.'"
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Interview With Ward Cunningham

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  • Ward's Wiki (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheSpoom ( 715771 ) <slashdot.uberm00@net> on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @12:07PM (#40017889) Homepage Journal

    If you're a software developer and you haven't read Ward's Wiki [c2.com], I strongly advise doing so now. It has a lot of content from some very smart people you won't get elsewhere. Primarily it focuses on software design patterns, but even outside of that subject I've learned a lot just by reading random pages there.

  • Re:What? (Score:4, Informative)

    by radarjd ( 931774 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @12:22PM (#40018013)

    What are they referring to here? This seems like a quote pulled out of context and now it makes no sense.

    "It's only 40 lines, but every line carried some careful thought. "

    Indeed it is taken totally out of context -- it's from pg 4 of the article, talking about a library called d3.js, which is apparently a library "to make things move on the screen"

  • Re:What? (Score:3, Informative)

    by roger_pasky ( 1429241 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @12:35PM (#40018215)
    After RTFA I found it at the end of page 4. He's talking about d3.js:

    "Cunningham: Let me close with an example that is close to me today. I was looking to make things move on the screen and I fell upon this d3.js library. It's a nice library with a lot of examples of it doing impressive things. And then the code for those examples is 20, 30, 40 lines. And then I read the introductory material, and it says, here's our philosophy, and I agree with their philosophy. I like the picture and I like the look of the code. It's only 40 lines, but every line carried some careful thought."
  • by frank_adrian314159 ( 469671 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @01:51PM (#40019243) Homepage

    The article didn't cover any of his work with the agile methodology community and his role as one of the three inventors (with Kent Beck and Ron Jeffries) of the eXtreme Programming (XP) methodology and the practices surrounding it (many of which were used in agile methodologies other than XP). To me that's a lot more important than CRC cards.

    But, having known Ward for a very long time, I think his most notable contribution is his being a nice guy - humble as well as brilliant, and always willing to share. He is one of the unsung geniuses of the computing world and deserves a lot more attention than he normally gets.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"