Programming and Writing Advice¶
|Mar 28, 2020
Source. Our ideology can be described by the following guidelines:
- Do not add new functionality unless an implementor cannot complete a real application without it.
- It is as important to decide what a system is not as to decide what it is. Do not serve all the world’s needs; rather, make the system extensible so that additional needs can be met in an upwardly compatible fashion.
- The only thing worse than generalizing from one example is generalizing from no examples at all.
- If a problem is not completely understood, it is probably best to provide no solution at all.
- If you can get 90 percent of the desired effect for 10 percent of the work, use the simpler solution.
- Isolate complexity as much as possible.
- Provide mechanism, rather than policy. In particular, place user interface policy in the client’s hands.
From Scheifler & Gettys: “X Window System”
Prof. John Ousterhout’s Favorite Sayings¶
- The greatest performance improvement of all is when a system goes from not-working to working
- Use your intuition to ask questions, not to answer them
- The most important component of evolution is death
- Facts precede concepts
- If you don’t know what the problem was, you haven’t fixed it
- If it hasn’t been used, it doesn’t work
- The only thing worse than a problem that happens all the time is a problem that doesn’t happen all the time
- The three most powerful words for building credibility are “I don’t know”
- Coherent systems are inherently unstable
Butler W. Lampson’s Hints for Computer System Design¶
- Systems Benchmarking Crimes
- Tim Harris: designing experiments for understanding performance
- Very practical and useful suggestions.
Last update: April 3, 2020