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15. Perl > Evolution and Revolution

Evolution and Revolution

In software design and development, what is your approach: evolution or revolution?

Larry: I’m a bear-of-very-little-brain in some ways, so I personally take an evolutionary approach when I’m programming. When developing a Perl program I typically make a change, run it, make another change, with a cycle time of maybe 30 seconds. I don’t spend much time debugging because it’s usually pretty obvious whether the last thing I did was right or wrong. Every now and then I refactor, but that also tends to be evolutionary, alternating between making a change and making sure that nothing really changed.

As far as language design is concerned, my basic approach has always been similar: to take an evolutionary approach, but “rev up” the mutation rate so that if you took two snapshots far enough apart, it would look like a revolutionary change.


  

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