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Thread by @rob_pike: "People keep quoting my '5 Rules of Programming'. Actually there were (and still are) 6 rules. Plus they need proper context. The original ve […]"

9 tweets, 1 min read
People keep quoting my '5 Rules of Programming'. Actually there were (and still are) 6 rules.
Plus they need proper context. The original version was a handout (we used paper for things back then) for a graduate operating systems course at Princeton in 1987. The rules are the gist of the section on complexity.
Since then, there have appeared many corrupted version of those notes, with bad formatting or punctuation or what have you.
The best copy I can find on line is doc.cat-v.org/bell_labs/pike…. Most of the other versions have errors.
Without the full supporting text, which is heavily C-specific, you miss some of the nuance.
But the rules (all of them) still seem good; the rest of the document is OK but so C-specific and style-of-the-time specific, it has not aged as well.
But it's important to have it along with the rules.
All 6 rules.
By the way, there were some great students in the class, but the notes were not sufficient to stop some of the students from writing atrocious code.
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