Before Mathematica

I figured if I couldn’t explain something clearly in documentation, nobody was ever going to understand it, and it probably wasn’t designed right. And once something was in the documentation, we knew both what to implement, and why we were doing it.

I think this a great practice to follow. I often find it very helpful to write documentation before writing code. I find I end up with a better designed system this way, and as an added bonus it has great documentation too.

— There Was a Time before Mathematica

— Stephen Wolfram


The main idea is to regard a program as a communication to human beings rather than as a set of instructions to a computer.

— Donald Knuth


Programs are meant to be read by humans and only incidentally for computers to execute.

— Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs



2022.08.16 Tuesday ACHK