Donald Knuth. “Literate Programming ()” in Literate Programming. CSLI, , pg. I believe that the time is ripe for significantly better documentation of . Literate programming: Knuth is doing it wrong. Literate programming advocates this: Order your code for others to read, not for the compiler. Literate. What is Literate programming? Literate programming is a style of programming invented by Donald Knuth, where the main idea is that a program’s .

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I had learned from a Belgian man I had met him a few years earlier, someone from Liegeand he had a system-it’s explained in my paper on literate programming. The number of lines in a file is It is the difference between performing and exposing a magic trick. At best, a professor might publish very small routines as examples of how to write a program. Scattered in amongst the program code are comments which describe the various litetate of the code. I believe that the time is ripe for significantly better documentation of programs, and that we can best achieve this by considering programs to literwte works of literature.

Thus the program can be described in a logical manner. The same example was later rewritten for the noweb literate programming tool.

Please send suggested corrections to knuth-bug cs. When the last order of the subroutine has been executed the machine proceeds to execute the order in the program that immediately follows. Long procedures are restructuring by folding portions of the code into sections. Provide formal or informal proofs of source code correctness.

Literate programming

Functions are decomposed into several sections. The presentation is engaging and clear. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Programming on the universal canvas is one revolution that can’t possibly arrive too soon. Well, this was frightening.

Now, he says, take my large program and reveal it to the world, with all its compromises. From the programming language point of view the most obvious method of identification would be to use identifiers, resulting in a simple system of parameter-less macros, with as only unusual aspect that uses of the macro are allowed to precede the definition, and indeed do so more often than not. Literate programming LP tools are used to obtain two representations from a literate source file: The following snippet of the wc literate program [11] shows how arbitrary descriptive phrases in a natural language are used in a literate program to create macros, which act as new “operators” in the literate programming language, and hide chunks of code or other macros.


We understand a complicated system by understanding its simple parts, and by understanding the simple relations between those parts and their immediate neighbors. Hoare had heard rumors about my work and he wrote to Stanford suggesting that I keep publication in mind. The articles have been revised, extended, and brought up to date. Instead of writing code containing documentation, the literate programmer writes documentation containing code.

Literate programming is not a documentation system per ce, it’s a programming paradigm. These usually describe the problem independent of the chosen language for implementation.

But if you looked at the details The effect of this simple shift of emphasis can be so profound as to change one’s whole approach to programming. Literate programs are written to be read by other software developers. Then in or knnuth, when I was writing TeX82, I was able to use prorgamming experience and all the feedback he had from users, and I made the system that became WEB. Knuth had privately used a literate programming loterate called DOC as early as This means that in the course of reading this book, you will read the full implementation of the pbrt rendering system, not just a high-level pgogramming of it.

These macros are similar to the algorithms in pseudocode typically used in teaching computer science. The documentation parts of the program description should allow for the same freedom of expression that one would have in an ordinary technical paper. Not to be confused with Natural language programming. Literate programming is a programming paradigm introduced by Donald Knuth in which a program is given as an explanation of the program logic in a natural language, such as English, interspersed with snippets of macros and traditional source code, from which a compilable source code can be generated.


Literate programming – Wikipedia

This feature makes the description of the program just as important as its actual source code, encouraging careful design and documentation. Knuth says that when he realized this, he began to think of a program as a web of various parts. It should be an unusual but not exceptional case when a module contains no documentation. The CWEAVE program is so named because it takes a given web and intertwines the TeX and Programjing portions contained in each section, then it knits the whole fabric into a structured document.

Literate programming increases product quality by requiring software developers to examine and explain their code. This means that the document describing the program should consist of formatted text, rather than being a plain text file.

The holon integrates with other holons in the hierarchy according to a flexible strategy.

As I was writing TeX I was using for the second time in my life ideas called “structured programming”, which were revolutionizing the way computer programming was done in the middle 70s. There had to be compromises. This book presents a selection of modern rendering algorithms through the documented source code for a complete rendering system. Again, I did this in the interests of simplicity, because I noticed that most applications programmint multiple parameters could in fact be reduced programmingg the one-parameter case.

This page was last edited on 20 Decemberat Here are some software programmingg related ligerate program documentation: I was teaching classes and I was aware that people were using structured programming, but I hadn’t written a large computer program since That example was the key to me for this idea of thinking of a program as hypertext, as we would now say it.

The present chunkwhich does the countingwas actually one of the simplest to write. Develop small classes and small functions when feasible.