Free Trial

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of learning resources.

  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

6. AWK > The Role of Documentation

The Role of Documentation

When I write documentation, or a tutorial or paper, for a piece of software I’ve written, I often find places where the design is difficult or embarrassing to explain, and that leads me to refine the program. Do you find something similar?

Al: Very much so. My experience with AWK had a profound impact on how I teach the programming languages and compilers course at Columbia. As part of the course there is a semester-long project in which students work in teams of five to create their own little language and build a compiler for it.

In the 20 years or so that I’ve been teaching the compilers course, never has a team failed to deliver a working compiler by the end of the semester. This success has not come about by accident but by my experiences working on AWK, seeing how software development was done at Bell Labs, recognizing the importance of a lightweight software engineering process for a project of this kind, and listening to my students.


  

You are currently reading a PREVIEW of this book.

                                                                                                                    

Get instant access to over $1 million worth of books and videos.

  

Start a Free 10-Day Trial


  
  • Safari Books Online
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint