[lug] Airing the dirty code

Chris Riddoch socket at peakpeak.com
Thu Mar 14 23:13:40 MST 2002

After having discussed it with a few people at the BLUG meeting
tonight, I have decided that the noble thing to do is to post the code
for the assignment on my website. The need for public information is
the basis for the compelling ethical imperatives that attracted me to
Free software in the first place.

It saddens me to think that for most of you, this is the first chunk
of code I've produced that you'll see. I'm feeling rather touchy about
the matter because this is *NOT* typical of the code I write, and
while it would be an equally noble thing to not take some of the
responses personally, or to not equate people's opinions of my code to
their opinions of me, I would remind those of you feeling sufficiently
hardened that emotions are never rational and despite the best efforts
of Kant and similar folks, decisions are empirically initially

While I accept constructive criticism, I have already had quite a lot
of hindsight on the matter, advice on correct algorithms, and so on,
so please try to avoid making comments and suggestions that are
unnecessarily harsh.  If my code makes you upset, walk away from the
computer, throw a few snowballs at the side of your house or
something, have some hot chocolate, and then try to think about the
circumstances of the matter before replying.

Inferences on my capability as a programmer *generally* should not be
based on this *specific* project, for a number of reasons I don't have
time to go into now. I have a paper I need to finish for another

The source code and details of the assignment are available on this
page: http://www.peakpeak.com/~socket/opsys.html

As an off-topic aside for those of you who don't know about my degree
program: I'm a Linguistics major, Computer Science minor, German
minor*, finishing up a certificate in Cognitive Science, and about to
begin the graduate portion of a concurrent B.A./M.A. in Linguistics.
Though I'm certainly a geek, I am not a pure engineer, nor should I be
confused with one.

* Technically, CU doesn't let people have two minors, but I will have
all the necessary classes for both by May. Algorithms is *not* a
required class for the minor program in CS.

Addendum: I will gladly accept if someone wants to donate a copy of
the white Addison-Wesley book on algorithms to me.

Chris Riddoch       | epistemological
socket at peakpeak.com | humility

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