Jump to content
 
Sign in to follow this  

Dijkstra on Webster, users, bugs and Aristotle

Orunmila

285 views

Every programmer should read what Edsger Dijkstra wrote as part of their Education. The University of Texas hosts a comprehensive  Archive of Dijkstra's writings

Perhaps my faovourite piece is what he wrote about "Users" in EWD618.

Quote

"The computer “user” isn’t a real person of flesh and blood, with passions and brains. No, he is a mythical figure, and not a very pleasant one either. A kind of mongrel with money but without taste, an ugly caricature that is very uninspiring to work for. He is, as a matter of fact, such an uninspiring idiot that his stupidity alone is a sufficient explanation for the ugliness of most computer systems. And oh! Is he uneducated! That is perhaps his most depressing characteristic. He is equally education-resistant as another equally mythical bore, “the average programmer”, whose solid stupidity is the greatest barrier to progress in programming.

In the context of the article Dijkstra was calling this kind of stereotyping out saying that 

Quote

... its usage is almost always a symptom of a violent anti-intellectualism.

Read the full paper here : On Webster, users, bugs and Aristotle

 



0 Comments


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...