On Saturday 20 August 2005 9:08 am, Devin Mullins wrote:

> Kirk Haines wrote:
> >Beauty is a secondary consideration to pragmatisism and efficiency.
>
> It's not necessarily any different. http://www.paulgraham.com/taste.html

I didn't say it was.  But the consideration of beauty is secondary.  Sometimes 
beauty coincides with getting the code working, but sometimes it doesn't.  As 
is seen on this list every time someone presents a problem to solve, there 
are usually many ways to solve the problem, and the first respondents often 
don't present the most beautiful solution.

Without the luxury of time, software engineering often means finding the first 
solution that works, using it, and then moving on.  After project goals are 
met, some of the "it works, but it's ugly" pieces can be revisited and can 
get a little beauty applied to them.

As a recent example, look at the request by Brock Weaver the other day for an 
elegant Ruby way to iterate over files in a directory, flipping .mp3 
and .temp file suffixes.  His solution worked, but there were more elegant 
solutions, and as the thread progressed, there was a trend towards shorter, 
more elegant solutions being submitted to the thread.  "It works" was solved 
well before "it works, and is elegant".


Kirk Haines