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Programming Pearls, Second Edition by Jon Bentley

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Column 5: A Small Matter of Programming

So far, you’ve done everything right. You dug deep to define the right problem. You balanced the true requirements with a careful selection of algorithms and data structures. You used the techniques of program verification to write elegant pseudocode that you’re pretty sure is correct. How do you incorporate the resulting gem into your big system? All that’s left is, well, a small matter of programming.

Programmers are optimists, and they are tempted to take the easy path: code up the function, slip it into the system, and fervently hope that it runs. Sometimes that works. But the other 999 times out of 1000, it leads to disaster: one has to grope around in the huge system to manipulate the little function. ...

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