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Assembly Language Step-by-Step: Programming with Linux®, Third Edition by Jeff Duntemann

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Chapter 5. The Right to Assemble

The Process of Creating Assembly Language Programs

Rudyard Kipling's poem "In the Neolithic Age" (1895) gives us a tidy little scold on tribal certainty. Having laid about himself successfully with his trusty diorite tomahawk, the poem's Neolithic narrator eats his former enemies while congratulating himself for following the One True Tribal Path. Alas, his totem pole has other thoughts, and in a midnight vision puts our cocky narrator in his place:

"There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays, And every single one of them is right!"

The moral of the poem: Trust your totem pole. What's true of tribal lays is also true of programming methodologies. There are at least nine and sixty ways of making programs, and I've tried most of them over the years. They're all different, but they all work, in that they all produce programs that can be loaded and run—once the programmer figures out how to follow a particular method and use the tools that go with it.

Still, although all these programming techniques work, they are not interchangeable, and what works for one programming language or tool set will not apply to another programming language or tool set. In 1977 I learned to program in a language called APL (A Programming Language; how profound) by typing in lines of code and watching what each one did. That was the way that APL worked: Each line was mostly an independent entity, which performed a calculation or some sort of array manipulation, ...

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