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Laws of Computer Programming
Compiled by the Robelle Staff
Basic Laws of Programming
Any given program, when running, is obsolete.
If a program is useless, it will have to be documented.
If a program is useful, it will have to be changed.
Any program will expand to fill any available memory.
The value of a program is proportional to the weight of its output.
Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capability of the programmer to maintain it.
Make it possible for programmers to write in English and you will find that programmers cannot write in English.
Bradleys Bromide: If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee that will do them in.
Weinbergs Law: If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
Hoares Law of Large Programs: Inside every large program is a small program struggling to get out.
Brooks Law: Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.
Laws of Managing
Work expands to fill the time available. C.N. Parkinson
In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence. The Peter Principle
The software project had to be abandoned, and with it, over thirty man-years of programming effort. You know what went wrong? You let your programmers do things you yourself do not understand. How could one person ever understand the whole of a modern software product? C.A.R. Hoare
Laws of Simplicity
Keep it simple, Stupid.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. Albert Einstein
There are two ways of constructing a software design: one way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. C.A.R. Hoare
The price of reliability is the pursuit of utmost simplicity.
Occams Razor: Do not multiply concepts beyond necessity.
William of Occam, 14th century logician. [He actually said Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitate.]
Boundy Laws of Naming
The wise programmer does not give two names to one thing nor attribute two things to one name.
Names are meaningful and specific, and their length is proportional to their scope. A loop variable used only once in a two-statement loop may be called i, but a global variable that may be used anywhere in the program will have a long name that accurately describes its usage. D. Boundy
Laws of the Universe
Ruckerts Law: There is nothing so small that it cant be blown out of proportion.
Ringwalds Law of Household Geometry: Any horizontal surface is soon piled up on.
Diners Dilemma: A clean tie attracts the Soup of the Day.
Thiessens Law of Gastronomy: The hardness of the butter is in direct proportion to the softness of the roll.
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