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Art of Unix Programming, The by Eric Steven Raymond

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9. Generation: Pushing the Specification Level Upwards

The programmer at wit’s end ... can often do best by disentangling himself from his code, rearing back, and contemplating his data. Representation is the essence of programming.

The Mythical Man-Month, Anniversary Edition (1975–1995), p. 103 —Fred Brooks

In Chapter 1 we observed that human beings are better at visualizing data than they are at reasoning about control flow. We recapitulate: To see this, compare the expressiveness and explanatory power of a diagram of a fifty-node pointer tree with a flowchart of a fifty-line program. Or (better) of an array initializer expressing a conversion table with an equivalent switch statement. The difference in transparency and clarity is dramatic. ...

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