Minor observation on the programming enterprise (was: Python for large projects)

Joe Mason joe at notcharles.ca
Sun Mar 28 18:56:29 CEST 2004

In article <106e0498vbqa611 at corp.supernews.com>, Cameron Laird wrote:
 Remarkable fact that I see as turning up all over:  we work with
> grep(1).  There are visual programming and language-savvy editors
> and IDEs and refactoring plugins and all sorts of other tools, 
> and we find our variables with text searches.  'Know how to make
> a C programmer mad?  Name a global variable 'i'.  'Know how to
> make him happy?  Change the name to 'ii'.  Both Lisp's inventor
> and I keep our human address collection in a plaintext file.

My address collection was scattered all over various databases and
phones, and I lost the phone with the most recent one.  I spent a good
hour searching for an important number, and realized that the one
database I might still have access to was for a PDA I no longer owned,
with a desktop app that I could no longer run, in a Windows partition
that I couldn't boot to at the time.

I could see the actual data, but knowing the Windows world I was almost
positive it'd be some binary database, and I'd be out of luck.

Nope, XML.  Almost as good as plain text for grepping.  I've never been
so relieved.


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