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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @12:10PM (#40017915)

    This is one of those Zen master questions, the usefulness of application depends on the person answering the question.

    For the average worker bee, the simplest thing that could work is copying and pasting code from somewhere else in the project, or from the web. Then stripping out the error handling and anything else that they don't understand.

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @12:22PM (#40018037)

    Don't confuse him with Ward Christensen, another early computer networking pioneer. I wonder how many people ask Cunningham about his invention of the BBS and the invention of xmodem.

  • by conrad_carter ( 1708764 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @02:01PM (#40019381)
    I will admit that I was a Smalltalk zealot, and I believed that Smalltalk could be the only language, and I knew about a dozen reasons why, and one of them was that once everybody programmed in Smalltalk, we would all communicate with objects. But that didn't happen. And the day that I gave up on that vision, I said, "You know what, we're all going to communicate with text files. We're all going to go ripping through these text files plundering them for whatever information we can infer from it." That's when I picked up Perl. And it shocked me, just how well it worked for finding and plundering files because it had those reg exes built in and stuff like that. And it was so fast. It was fast to compile, it was fast to develop, it was fast to run. I could not believe it was so fast. And I know people like to complain about it, but I also thought it showed a tremendous amount of insight. It was insight, and I looked at it and I said, "Who would have thought of making a language like that?" That's when I realized that open source was here to stay. There is no commercial endeavor that ever would have invented Perl.

FORTRAN is the language of Powerful Computers. -- Steven Feiner