Distributed RVS, Darcs, tech love

Lew lew at lewscanon.com
Sun Oct 21 17:45:59 CEST 2007

llothar wrote:
> On 21 Okt., 21:39, Arne Vajhøj <a... at vajhoej.dk> wrote:
>> That level of activity could be considered dead.
> For me at least 2% of the total line count should be changed
> to call it non dead.
> I don't say it it not used anymore for users it might be
> not dead but this is not the point under discussion here.

No, there are two points - not whether Tex is "dead", but whether it's a "dead 
end" (which do you mean?), and whether in any way that says anything about 
Knuth's ability as a programmer.

Evidence is that TeX development is dead.  There is not yet firm evidence that 
Tex is a "dead end" (or even what that means), and there has been none (nor, I 
expect, is there any) that any of that reflects on Knuth's skill as a programmer.

The switch from asserting "dead end" to asserting "dead" is sort of an 
interesting rhetorical device.  Just pick one or the other, or if you prefer, 
assert both, but please be clear.  Should we just accept that you meant, "less 
than 2% of total line count changed"?  Per year?  Per century?  What if the 
code is perfect and has no need of change?  Is it (a) dead (end)?

(Who uses line count as a metric of anything any more?)


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