In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Alberto Moreira <email@example.com> wrote:
[pedantic explanations of program flow snipped]
> The logical inference we use in computer programming is an intuitive > one. And here, then, unlike mathematics, it flows with time
I was referring to logical inferences you apply in _debugging_, not program flow; nonetheless, sequential program flow can still be mapped to symbolic logic.
> It so happens that one doesn't even need a college degree to be able > to program: so much for mathematics in programming.
You don't need a college degree to be able to do math, either. So much for your syllogism.
> >[Let alone designing _any_ OS without knowledge of queuing theory, > >working sets or resource allocation, or a web browser without finite > >states, decoding JPEGs without discrete cosine transforms, or even > >calculating line wraps without arithmetic.] > > I need ZERO knowledge of queuing theory to write an OS. All I need is > the basic, intuitive knowledge of putting one thing after the other. > And even then, you know what ? If I have as many processors as > processes open, I don't need queues. And I can store information to be > processed by an OS without need to resort to the queuing paradigm > either. I also need zero mathematics to handle resources, and fact is, > I only need to worry about working sets if my real memory is a lot > smaller than what I need - but then, if I can buy a 1GB machine for > less than one grand, why bother ? I can just throw resources at it, > and chuck virtual memory and all the theory behind it.
And if I have a very fast random character generator, I can write the entire works of Shakespeare. Why, as you mentioned, worry about an algorithm being O(n^k)? Just throw as many processors as necessary. Utilize n processors and you can sort in O(n) time.
Seems your OS doesn't scale well. As I said, "...let alone a good one."
> And then, why should I need to bother with JPEG ? Someone will, and > it's a one-off thing, because JPEG came from the math direction and > therefore it will require math. But Operating Systems don't, neither > do browsers, and I'm not into reinventing wheels: probably all I need > to know about JPEG in order to write a browser is how to call a > library routine.
Look at the Mozilla project and see if _no one_ is using math. Look up who's responsible for image decompression. But by your reasoning you don't even have to know programming. After all, why reinvent the wheel? Probably all you need to know is how to call some other programmer.
> >I submit Mr. Moreira has little knowledge of writing a working OS or a > >browser, let alone a good one, or his definition of mathematics is > >hopelessly narrow to be of practical value. > > Dude, I wrote operating systems for a life for many years. I never > wrote a browser, but I know how to write one.
Famous last words. :-)
> I'm a senior - nah, say, very senior - computer kernel developer, > with years of experience of writing very complex pieces of > programming. I'm one of those guys, unlike armchair professors who > can only talk
[indulgent resume snipped]
> And that much I do know: I have worked with plenty of very gifted > programmers, who turn out the products you all buy at the stores, and > who know near zero math.
Who _think_ they know zero math. Or whom _you_ think know zero math.
> They're theater majors, musicians, phys ed majors, sociologists, > pilots, policemen, when they just don't even have a college degree. [...] > I submit that maybe you're not from the computer industry ?
Actually, I have been for some decades. Wrote multitasking kernels, servers for a real-time satellite feed, developed options databases and risk analysis software for market makers, modeled derivative securities and build portfolio accounting systems. Optimized a number of compute- intensive put options models and wrote new models for takeover stocks, index options, and convertible bonds. Wrote emulators, parsers, lexical analyzers, trading simulations, print drivers, and encryption methods. Even designed a few IP networks and OO frameworks before they became buzzwords. Started a software company.
Oh, and I'd been an actor in a theatre company for 15 years. I still direct from time to time. And technically I don't have a college degree.
I use math every day. Playing chess, coaching soccer, playing a Bach invention, improvising jazz, comparing insurance policies, optimizing an algorithm.
As I stated, your definition of math is too narrow to be of practical value.
-- Van Bagnol / v a n at wco dot com / c r l at bagnol dot com ...enjoys - Theatre / Windsurfing / Skydiving / Mountain Biking ...feels - "Parang lumalakad ako sa loob ng paniginip" ...thinks - "An Error is Not a Mistake ... Unless You Refuse to Correct It"