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Thanks for the Arthur Whitney reference, I had not previously been aware of his work although I fiddled about with APL to teach maths years ago and have always liked the 'executable notation' idea.


    BC Is that advice you would give to practitioners: to throw out more?
    AW Yes, but in business it's hard to do that.
    BC Especially when it's working!
    AW But I love throwing it all out. 
It strikes me (as a non-programmer) that Moore and Whitney are working in well defined problem spaces. 'The art of the soluable' by Peter Medawar springs to mind (about scientific method).

I'm glad you looked that up. More people need to know about Whitney. I wish he would open-source his work so we could learn from it.

But why do you say they are working in well-defined problem spaces? No more well-defined than most, I would have thought. Certainly Moore was a pioneer of iterative development and evolving a program (and notation) in the direction of the problem. That's why he invented Forth in the first place.

Edit: Oh, having looked up the Medawar reference I realize you probably mean "well-defined problem space" in the way a mathematician would: a problem space narrow enough to be effectively studied but rich enough to produce meaningful results. Certainly most software projects do not start out in such a space. On the other hand, we don't try to learn enough about our problems to find such spaces. We merely add code. One might almost say we excrete it.

Sorry, yes, I'm not a coder. Whitney is dealing with financial data sets of impressively huge sizes but he (to my limited knowledge) clearly understands the structure of the data and a range of queries at a deep level. Moore looks as if he his devising the hardware to run the code!

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