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Book Note: P.J. Plauger, Programming On Purpose II

I read this book about 14-May-2002. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1993. This note was last modified Thursday, 19-Dec-2002 16:29:59 PST.

This note does not contain major spoilers for the book.


While the copyright is 1993, most of these essays date from the 80s (from his monthly column in Computer Language). Some aspects of them feel pretty dated (and 1993 is, after all, 9 years ago), but a lot of it still makes perfect sense. It's interesting to be reading about things *before* the dot com bubble. Um, this is non-fiction, if that wasn't somehow clear. It appears to be the second collection of his columns.

I remember the days he's writing about well -- back to IBM punch-card systems, and certainly MS-DOS, and VAX-VMS. And early attempts at customer service, too. And the ANSI C standardization effort.

I seem to see a common theme running through these of recognizing other players as people. Basic empathy. Even lawyers (his column on the uses and abuses of lawyers apparently got very good fanmail from the legal community). I do have a sneaking suspicion that that really does cover a lot of the important things in life. For one thing, it's not about utopia, it's about good-enough. I wonder what he thinks of the Clue-Train Manifesto?

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David Dyer-Bennet