This is something of a counterintuitive idea: Comments should be meaningless What, I hear you ask, are you talking about? Comments should communicate to the reader! At least that is the received conventional wisdom handed does over the last few centuries (decades at least). Well, certainly, if you are programming in Assembler, or C, then yes, comments should convey meaning because the programming language cannot So, conversely, as a comment on the programming language itself, anytime the programmer feels the imperative to write a meaningful comment it is because the language is not able to convey the intent of the programmer. I have already noticed that I write far fewer comments in my Java programs than in my C programs. That is because Java is able to capture more of my meaning and comments would be superfluous. So, if a language were able to capture all of my intentions, I would never need to write a comment. Hence the title of this blog.
When was the last time you complained about the food in a restaurant? I thought so. Most people will complain if they are offended by the quality or service; but if the food and/or service is just underwhelming then they won't complain, they will simply not return to the restaurant. The same applies to software products, or to products of any kind. You will only get negative feedback from customers if they care enough to make the effort. In the meantime you are both losing out on opportunities and failing your core professional obligation. Minimum Viable Product speaks to a desire to make your customers design your product for you. But, to me, it represents a combination of an implicit insult and negligence. The insult is implicit in the term minimum. The image is one of laziness and contempt: just throw some mud on the wall and see if it sticks. Who cares about whether it meets a real need, or whether the customer is actually served. The negligence is more subtle but, in the end,
I am sure that everyone who has ever dabbled in the area of Ontology has been asked that question. Personally, I have never heard a truly convincing response; even though I strongly feel that Ontologies are quite important. I recently listened to a radio segment in which someone in Algeria (I think) was complaining about the new law that required all teaching to be done in Arabic. It seems that most university-level education is in French, and that many parents try to send their kids to schools that teach in French. The issue was that Arabic simply does not have the vocabulary demanded by a modern high-tech education. Arabic is not alone in this dilemma: French itself is littered with Les mots Anglais; and English is a true hodge-podge of Anglo-Saxon, French, German, Hindu, Japanese, and many other languages. It often happens that when a culture acquires a set of concepts, it does so in the language of the originators of those concepts. It is often considerably easier to import wholes