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Connecting Design with Code

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Jon Bentley wrote his thesis on divide-and-conquer algorithms and came to greatly admire C.A.R. Hoare's original quicksort algorithm. Yet for years, Bentley "tiptoed around its innermost loop" because he didn't understand it (Beautiful Code, O'Reilly, 2007). It was only after he implemented his own quicksort based on an elegant partitioning scheme for programming Pearls (Addison-Wesley, 1999) that he truly understood the reason for that inner loop. He also trimmed the original bulkier algorithm to a mere dozen tight lines of code. Code clutter and unnecessary complexity can obscure a design. However, connecting design decisions to code won't happen unless developers embrace the practice of writing code as if expressing design intent matters.

Published in:

Software, IEEE  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 2 )