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Manic C++ programming

P: n/a
After being away from using the STL for about 6
months and trying to appreciate what I was doing
back then, I am realizing that programming is
truly an art. You have to be in some kind of
manic phase to do it. Maybe that's what STL
programming is about; training yourself invoke
a kind of self-induced manic frame of mind.
Going for nights without sleep and proper eating
to make that algorithm come alive. At the risk
of sounding like I'm putting the profession on a
pedestal, maybe there are some parallels with
that manic Mozart guy, only not so romanticized.

Fred
Jul 22 '05 #1
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9 Replies


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"Fred Ma" <fm*@doe.carleton.ca> wrote in message
news:3F***************@doe.carleton.ca...
After being away from using the STL for about 6
months and trying to appreciate what I was doing
back then, I am realizing that programming is
truly an art. You have to be in some kind of
manic phase to do it. Maybe that's what STL
programming is about; training yourself invoke
a kind of self-induced manic frame of mind.
Going for nights without sleep and proper eating
to make that algorithm come alive. At the risk
of sounding like I'm putting the profession on a
pedestal, maybe there are some parallels with
that manic Mozart guy, only not so romanticized.


Excellent!

Now assuming you have learned to appreciate elogant implementation (based
still on preference) then you may be a great artist.

But don't expect ANYONE to appreciate you.

It took me many years to find my equal. Most annoying thing is, that
although he values things as do I, he is also capible of replacing me

-LTP

:)
Jul 22 '05 #2

P: n/a


Luc The Perverse wrote:

"Fred Ma" <fm*@doe.carleton.ca> wrote in message
news:3F***************@doe.carleton.ca...
After being away from using the STL for about 6
months and trying to appreciate what I was doing
back then, I am realizing that programming is
truly an art. You have to be in some kind of
manic phase to do it. Maybe that's what STL
programming is about; training yourself invoke
a kind of self-induced manic frame of mind.
Going for nights without sleep and proper eating
to make that algorithm come alive. At the risk
of sounding like I'm putting the profession on a
pedestal, maybe there are some parallels with
that manic Mozart guy, only not so romanticized.
Excellent!

Now assuming you have learned to appreciate elogant implementation (based
still on preference) then you may be a great artist.


Uhm, not me. I'm just trying to get at a functional
level with it. But to hear some people talking here
about the hows and whys of certain practices...maybe
it's more like a martial-art than like Moz-art.
But don't expect ANYONE to appreciate you.
Except for the guy who has to maintain it. Documentation
is the other side of the art, if it can be called that.
Also, the programmer appreciates it when something works.
Probably ecstatic about it in many cases. But you're right,
it's not exactly an audience appreciation. So "great artist"
(above) may not be the most appropriate choice of words,
especially if parallels with Mozart is the manic state of
mind rather than crafting something than can be easily
appreciated by all.

Another thing about this so-called "artistry" is that it is
more true for C++ (with STL) than most other languages,
simply because of the layers of complexity, expressiveness,
potential for abuse, and power/efficiency from proper use.
Subtle things have far-reaching implications that can be seen
by the gurus (again, not me at this time).

A better parallel than artistry may be the utilitarian
creativity in engineering. Behind the scenes creativity.
It took me many years to find my equal. Most annoying thing is, that
although he values things as do I, he is also capible of replacing me

-LTP

:)


I don't have to look too far to find my own equal.
But I see your point about the annoyance in being
unseated as an alpha programmer. Hopefully, there
will always be need for more than 1 programmer in
whatever place. However, a relative of mine (in
industry) relates to me the impression that C++
programming is a highly competitive profession
right now.

Fred
Jul 22 '05 #3

P: n/a

"Fred Ma" <fm*@doe.carleton.ca> wrote in message
news:3F***************@doe.carleton.ca...


Luc The Perverse wrote:

"Fred Ma" <fm*@doe.carleton.ca> wrote in message
news:3F***************@doe.carleton.ca...
After being away from using the STL for about 6
months and trying to appreciate what I was doing
back then, I am realizing that programming is
truly an art. You have to be in some kind of
manic phase to do it. Maybe that's what STL
programming is about; training yourself invoke
a kind of self-induced manic frame of mind.
Going for nights without sleep and proper eating
to make that algorithm come alive. At the risk
of sounding like I'm putting the profession on a
pedestal, maybe there are some parallels with
that manic Mozart guy, only not so romanticized.
Excellent!

Now assuming you have learned to appreciate elogant implementation (based still on preference) then you may be a great artist.


Uhm, not me. I'm just trying to get at a functional
level with it. But to hear some people talking here
about the hows and whys of certain practices...maybe
it's more like a martial-art than like Moz-art.


Oh I don't know about that. I relate it to mathmatical proofs, although
programming has further ways to diversify.

Call it art, or call it form. Sadly it is based mostly on what you have
done before, and there are no high paying algorithm research positions, that
I know of.
But don't expect ANYONE to appreciate you.


Except for the guy who has to maintain it. Documentation
is the other side of the art, if it can be called that.
Also, the programmer appreciates it when something works.
Probably ecstatic about it in many cases. But you're right,
it's not exactly an audience appreciation. So "great artist"
(above) may not be the most appropriate choice of words,
especially if parallels with Mozart is the manic state of
mind rather than crafting something than can be easily
appreciated by all.

Another thing about this so-called "artistry" is that it is
more true for C++ (with STL) than most other languages,
simply because of the layers of complexity, expressiveness,
potential for abuse, and power/efficiency from proper use.
Subtle things have far-reaching implications that can be seen
by the gurus (again, not me at this time).


Some not so subtle things as well. (The most innocent use of a static
variable the other day took me hours of debugging when I decided I needed
another instantiation of my object. And all to save two minutes to keep
from doing it right. NEVER AGAIN!)
A better parallel than artistry may be the utilitarian
creativity in engineering. Behind the scenes creativity.


The best bridge in the world, will be considered by most, only a bridge.

-LTP

:)
Jul 22 '05 #4

P: n/a


Luc The Perverse wrote:

"Fred Ma" <fm*@doe.carleton.ca> wrote in message
news:3F***************@doe.carleton.ca...
level with it. But to hear some people talking here
about the hows and whys of certain practices...maybe
it's more like a martial-art than like Moz-art.
Oh I don't know about that. I relate it to mathmatical proofs, although
programming has further ways to diversify.


Oh, they probably all have parallels in terms of
disciplined practice to master technique and
application. Putting in the time, getting one's
hands dirty or nose bloodied, and keeping at it.
Call it art, or call it form. Sadly it is based mostly on what you have
done before, and there are no high paying algorithm research positions, that
I know of.


What about financial engineering or risk assessment?
Just asking. Anyway, regardless of whether a certain
expertise is high in the limelight or not, developing
any expertise to a high level probably requires many
repetitions of past work, with the boundaries of
ability being incrementally pushed back in each
endeavour. Just like sports training, research,
performing arts, or engineering: 95% perspiration,
5% inspiration. I'm not too sure about business, but
I suspect there's the school of hard knocks to ascend
through there, too. That's not to dispute your point
that there may not be big moola at the end of it,
though I think it is a different (not unimportant)
issue.
A better parallel than artistry may be the utilitarian
creativity in engineering. Behind the scenes creativity.


The best bridge in the world, will be considered by most, only a bridge.


Actually, a bridge would probably be a bigger deal to
the general public. Think about it. A bridge in any
city or crossing a valley/ravine. Or crossing a water
channel. A very big deal. As you are suggesting, no
one (general person in the general population, that is)
thinks about the finite element analysis that goes into
structural study, or the logistics programs to manage
a project, or even to analyze the returns on the project.
(I'm probably not doing it justice with the above passing
descriptions, as I don't deal in that area).

Fred
Jul 22 '05 #5

P: n/a

"Fred Ma" <fm*@doe.carleton.ca> wrote in message
news:3F***************@doe.carleton.ca...

(forgive the snip, but I really don't have much to add)
The best bridge in the world, will be considered by most, only a bridge.


Actually, a bridge would probably be a bigger deal to
the general public. Think about it. A bridge in any
city or crossing a valley/ravine. Or crossing a water
channel. A very big deal. As you are suggesting, no
one (general person in the general population, that is)
thinks about the finite element analysis that goes into
structural study, or the logistics programs to manage
a project, or even to analyze the returns on the project.
(I'm probably not doing it justice with the above passing
descriptions, as I don't deal in that area).

People are impressed with the fastest, the strongest, the biggest. (Maybe
these don't apply directly to a bridge but just think in terms of
superlatives) The less they understand something, the less time they will
pretend to be impressed and/or care.

If you tell someone that this is the cheapest bridge ever built of this
length, they might give a few seconds pause before they turn away. But if
you start trying to specify it is the best combination price/performance
(say amount of weight per square foot that can be supported) if quickly
starts losing appeal. That doesn't mean that there isn't some "artist"
engineer somewhere that spent years perfecting what he knows.

And a bridge is still, admittedly a tangible item.

I just think the world doesn't care how anything works, as long as it works.
(Reminds me of a matrix scene)

-LTP

Newsflash: Michael Jackson is being arrested for child molestation - again.
Jul 22 '05 #6

P: n/a
Luc The Perverse wrote:


People are impressed with the fastest, the strongest, the biggest. (Maybe
these don't apply directly to a bridge but just think in terms of
superlatives) The less they understand something, the less time they will
pretend to be impressed and/or care.

If you tell someone that this is the cheapest bridge ever built of this
length, they might give a few seconds pause before they turn away. But if
you start trying to specify it is the best combination price/performance
(say amount of weight per square foot that can be supported) if quickly
starts losing appeal. That doesn't mean that there isn't some "artist"
engineer somewhere that spent years perfecting what he knows.

And a bridge is still, admittedly a tangible item.

I just think the world doesn't care how anything works, as long as it works.
(Reminds me of a matrix scene)
Yeah, you're right. I don't care how complicated a cell
phone works, as long as it saves me more time hassle than
it causes. From a consumer standpoint that is. Nevermind
that I find the modem architecture fascinating, I would
toss it in the sewer in a flash if it is troublesome to
use or costs me bundles. And in fact, I have.

Then again, if a bridge were being built in my neighbourhood,
wow, it'd be cool to watch it get built. Our campus is having
new buildings erected alot, and it's amazing how the campus
you know gets tranformed bit by bit. You see the guts of
the building being put together, the groundwork being
prepared, the supports being pounded into the ground with
who knows how much force. Boggles the mind when you see
the finished product and think back at the things that went
into it. And to think about the complexities of contracting
out the jobs, and keeping contracts coordinated and on
schedule. I wonder where the money is coming from. We're
in a depression, along with all the poverty that accompanies
that.
Newsflash: Michael Jackson is being arrested for child molestation - again.


Speaking of people not caring, this *is* getting repetitive.

Fred
--
Fred Ma
Dept. of Electronics, Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Canada, K1S 5B6
Jul 22 '05 #7

P: n/a

"Fred Ma" <fm*@doe.carleton.ca> wrote in message
news:3F***************@doe.carleton.ca...
the finished product and think back at the things that went
into it. And to think about the complexities of contracting
out the jobs, and keeping contracts coordinated and on
schedule. I wonder where the money is coming from. We're
in a depression, along with all the poverty that accompanies
that.
Yes you are fascinated by a bridge being built. But you are a special type
of person who starts threads in USENET forums about mindsets people are in
when they write code . . . (I doubt many other people in your neighbourhood
have done this)

Glad to know you agree with me though
Newsflash: Michael Jackson is being arrested for child molestation -

again.
Speaking of people not caring, this *is* getting repetitive.


Yes constantly being falsly accused. Must be hard to be mike

-LTP

:)
Jul 22 '05 #8

P: n/a
"Luc The Perverse" <th*****@trilobyte.net> wrote in message news:<AZ********************@comcast.com>...

Yes you are fascinated by a bridge being built. But you are a special type
of person who starts threads in USENET forums about mindsets people are in
when they write code . . . (I doubt many other people in your neighbourhood
have done this)

Glad to know you agree with me though


Well, probably not many people care about code.
The bridge or building...that's probably cool
to see for people without propellers on top of
their baseball caps.
Newsflash: Michael Jackson is being arrested for child molestation -

again.

Speaking of people not caring, this *is* getting repetitive.


Yes constantly being falsly accused. Must be hard to be mike


Weren't you talking about superlatives a while back?
Mike was the rave, what, a decade ago? There's something
inherently pathological about being at the apex in a noisy
way. Even the Olympics is a pathological forum for the
clashing of egos and politics these days. Probably
spurred on by business and economics, at the cost to the
health of the participating athletes themselves. Quite
dysfunctional when viewed in the context of healthy
exercise and mindset, though one wonders if that was
ever the driving incentive. In technology, one would
hope that this kind of frenzied single-minded competitiveness
results in a net improvement to society, even if it drives
speculation to new heights, and results in not insignificant
casualties e.g. much of the dot.com and telecom industries.

Anyway, this seems to be drifting from C++.

Fred
Jul 22 '05 #9

P: n/a

"fred ma" <fm*@doe.carleton.ca> wrote in message
news:c6**************************@posting.google.c om...
"Luc The Perverse" <th*****@trilobyte.net> wrote in message

news:<AZ********************@comcast.com>...

Yes you are fascinated by a bridge being built. But you are a special type
of person who starts threads in USENET forums about mindsets people are in when they write code . . . (I doubt many other people in your neighbourhood have done this)

Glad to know you agree with me though


Well, probably not many people care about code.
The bridge or building...that's probably cool
to see for people without propellers on top of
their baseball caps.
Newsflash: Michael Jackson is being arrested for child
molestation - again.

Speaking of people not caring, this *is* getting repetitive.


Yes constantly being falsly accused. Must be hard to be mike


Weren't you talking about superlatives a while back?
Mike was the rave, what, a decade ago? There's something
inherently pathological about being at the apex in a noisy
way. Even the Olympics is a pathological forum for the
clashing of egos and politics these days. Probably
spurred on by business and economics, at the cost to the
health of the participating athletes themselves. Quite
dysfunctional when viewed in the context of healthy
exercise and mindset, though one wonders if that was
ever the driving incentive. In technology, one would
hope that this kind of frenzied single-minded competitiveness
results in a net improvement to society, even if it drives
speculation to new heights, and results in not insignificant
casualties e.g. much of the dot.com and telecom industries.

Anyway, this seems to be drifting from C++.


d00d - I don't know what you are talking about. I, like the masses, am
going to exercise my right to not care. I'm sure you made a really good
point about MJ

Note: Some kind of irony about the entire thread discussion should be
reflected in this post

-LTP

:)
Jul 22 '05 #10

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