Considered harmful essays

Even writing that last sentence I think I closed all of the quotation marks properly would be difficult for most editors. Do we discard any argument simply based on the idea that they rail against dogmatic practices, themselves leading to dogmatic practices of a different variety? For my money, the meat of this argument is in the argument around it.

Considered harmful essays

For a number of years I have been familiar with the observation that the quality of programmers is a decreasing function of the density of go to statements in the programs they produce.

More recently I discovered why the use of the go to statement has such disastrous effects, and I became convinced that the go to statement should be abolished from all "higher level" Considered harmful essays languages i.

The abuse of GOTO is, thankfully, a long forgotten memory in today's modern programming languages. GOTO isn't all badthough. It still has some relevance to today's code.

Word Origin & History

Along with many other programmers, I always recommend using guard clauses to avoid arrow codeand I also recommend exiting early from a loop as soon as you find the value you're looking for.

The publication of such an influential paper in this particular format led to an almost immediate snowclone effectas documented on Wikipedia: Dijkstra's own response to this controversy was titled "On a somewhat disappointing correspondence".

That's easily one of the funniest things I've ever read in Wikipedia. Who says computer scientists don't have a sense of humor?

But here's what they might not know about it: In order to speed up its publication, the paper was converted into a "Letter to the Editor". In other words, Wirth poked and prodded the content until it became incendiary, to maximize its impact. The phrase "considered harmful" was used quite intentionally, as documented on the always excellent Language Log: However, "X considered harmful" was already a well-established journalistic cliche in -- which is why Wirth chose it.

The illlustration below shows the headline of a letter to the New York Times published August 12, I'm sure it's not the earliest example of this phrase used in a headline or title, either -- I chose it only as a convenient illustration of susage a couple of decades before the date of Dijkstra's paper.

Note that this example is also in the title of a slightly cranky letter to the editor - it's probably not an accident that the first example that came to hand of "considered harmful" in a pre-Dijkstra title was of this type.

So when you emulate the "considered harmful" style predicated on the work of these famous computer scientists inkeep that history in mind. You're emulating a slightly cranky letter to the editor.

Considered harmful essays

It's frighteningly common-- there are now 28, web pages with the exact phrase "considered harmful" in the title. He points out that choosing this style of dialogue is ultimately counterproductive: There are three primary ways in which "Considered Harmful" essays cause harm.White lies may also be detected in how the person speaks and can indicate the level of the lie.

As mentioned above, a clear lie may lead to the person exaggerating and emphasizing the truth, while a softened truth will include qualifiers such as 'partly', 'sometimes', and so on.

Seemingly, there is nothing bad in that and nothing bad can happen after a gulp of champagne or a gulp during a routine “social drinking”. But the reality is cruel Therefore even small doses of alcohol can do harm to a the human body. Honestly, throughout most of high school and college, I was a mediocre essay writer.


Every once in a while, I would write a really good essay, but mostly I skated by with B’s and A-minuses. I know personally how boring writing an essay can be, and also, how hard it can be to write a good one. He famously wrote, in that essay: “Never use the passive where you can use the active.” People have misinterpreted Orwell’s advice massively over the years: he never meant that the passive shouldn't be used or was “bad”, only that when the active was always the better choice when it can be used.

Human Task Switches Considered Harmful. Tech lead, News; When you’re managing a team of programmers, one of the first things you have to learn to get right is task allocation. That’s just a five-dollar word for giving people things to do.

It’s known colloquially as “file dumping” in Hebrew (because you dump files in peoples’ laps). Karma (Hinduism) Karma is the Hindu view of causality in which good deeds, words, thoughts, and commands lead to beneficial effects for a person, and bad deeds, words, thoughts, and commands lead to harmful effects.

Considered harmful