Follow Techotopia on Twitter

On-line Guides
All Guides
eBook Store
iOS / Android
Linux for Beginners
Office Productivity
Linux Installation
Linux Security
Linux Utilities
Linux Virtualization
Linux Kernel
System/Network Admin
Programming
Scripting Languages
Development Tools
Web Development
GUI Toolkits/Desktop
Databases
Mail Systems
openSolaris
Eclipse Documentation
Techotopia.com
Virtuatopia.com

How To Guides
Virtualization
General System Admin
Linux Security
Linux Filesystems
Web Servers
Graphics & Desktop
PC Hardware
Windows
Problem Solutions
Privacy Policy

  




 

 

The Art of Unix Programming
Prev Home Next


Unix Programming - Basics of the Unix Philosophy - Rule of Generation: Avoid hand-hacking; write programs to write

Rule of Generation: Avoid hand-hacking; write programs to write programs when you can.

Human beings are notoriously bad at sweating the details. Accordingly, any kind of hand-hacking of programs is a rich source of delays and errors. The simpler and more abstracted your program specification can be, the more likely it is that the human designer will have gotten it right. Generated code (at every level) is almost always cheaper and more reliable than hand-hacked.

We all know this is true (it's why we have compilers and interpreters, after all) but we often don't think about the implications. High-level-language code that's repetitive and mind-numbing for humans to write is just as productive a target for a code generator as machine code. It pays to use code generators when they can raise the level of abstraction — that is, when the specification language for the generator is simpler than the generated code, and the code doesn't have to be hand-hacked afterwards.

In the Unix tradition, code generators are heavily used to automate error-prone detail work. Parser/lexer generators are the classic examples; makefile generators and GUI interface builders are newer ones.

(We cover these techniques in Chapter9.)


[an error occurred while processing this directive]
The Art of Unix Programming
Prev Home Next

 
 
  Published under free license. Design by Interspire