Sep 18 2007
Tonight I was exploring the current state of RubyCocoa (and it looks good), and I noticed a quote from Knuth’s “The Art of Computer Programming”, his 1974 ACM Turing Award Lecture.
Paul Graham has the text of the full lecture here.
This is a great talk, and should be required reading for anyone calling themselves a programmer. I found the last section, especially interesting.. here’s what I consider to be the core bit form it:
“Therefore I want to address my closing remarks to the system programmers and the machine designers who produce the systems that the rest of us must work with. Please, give us tools that are a pleasure to use, especially for our routine assignments, instead of providing something we have to fight with. Please, give us tools that encourage us to write better programs, by enhancing our pleasure when we do so.”
It struck me that Ruby and recent systems from Apple fill Knuth’s request quite nicely. According to Wikipedia, Knuth uses Macs.. I wonder how he thinks they answer his challenge from ’74. I wonder what his view of Ruby is… Anyone heard anything about that?