[prog] Joel on Software: Leaky Abstractions

Mary mary-linuxchix at puzzling.org
Wed Apr 16 19:44:36 EST 2003

On Tue, Apr 15, 2003, Jimen Ching wrote:
> I'm not sure I understand the point of this article.  Is anyone able
> to determine Joel's reason for wanting non-leaky abstraction?  I just
> don't understand what the big deal is.

The idea is that, say, a ASP programmer (Spolsky works with Windows by
and large) now needs to know HTML, ASP, Visual C++, C++ and the Windows
API because of the leaks in each abstraction.

The idea of abstraction is meant to be that you don't need to care about
what's underneath, but it turns out to be any good at, say, ASP, you
really need to know all the underlying abstractions too. Hence, you need
to know *more* language details than you would if you were a C++


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