Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Things I should know

It's surprising how little math us programmers know, me included. You would think that working on something that is more or less completely based on mathematics (deep down, your computer is basically just adding, subtracting, comparing and moving numbers) people on the field would know it. Well, that's not true, and a lot of it has to do with the fact how it is handled in school and university. Steve Yegge has a great article about the whole issue. It's actually so great I got an urge to learn it myself! Well, I'll enroll to an algorithms course next Autumn in any case..

And sometimes you run into articles that make you say wow, because you thought you knew most of the stuff, at least in principle. This document by Brian Kernighan of C and Unix fame back from 1984 did that to me. Wow. Simply wow. What is intriguing is what this should mean for open source software. One of the big principles of OSS is that a lot of people can check it so the likelihood of it having Trojan horses is small. Is it, really?

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