[prog] [C] strings bug

Jenny Brown jenny at bigbrother.net
Sat Apr 12 10:46:35 EST 2003

On Fri, 11 Apr 2003, Jimen Ching wrote:

> On Fri, 12 Apr 2003, Robert J. Hansen wrote:
> >I think that as the field becomes more mature we'll see more
> >crossplatform code, more virtual machines/execution environments, etc.
> >Which will, hopefully, make it easier to have portable code.
> I think you've missed my point.  When I asked 'how we got to this state',
> I wasn't trying to imply that we weren't in this state before.  My intent
> was to ask, how did we get ourselves into this state, when no other
> profession has this same problem?

What other profession has existed widely for less than 60 years, and come
from a whole new area without prior work to draw from?

Computing is a relatively young profession.  The basic tools are still being
built.  Also, many times, it's more useful to the people involved to work
fast and slightly imprecisely rather than slow down and be exactly
perfect.  There is an economic value to speed which can sometimes
outweigh accuracy.  It's the difference between "right" and "close enough".

That may seem inelegant, but usually humans don't require perfection.

Some things are more efficient to do in a human brain rather than
fully automate - and error correction can be among them.

That's not to say that errors are a good thing.  They do still slow down
progress regardless.  But sometimes "almost perfect" is good enough for
practical purposes.

More information about the Programming mailing list