[Haskell-cafe] Mozart versus Beethoven (was: Writing "Haskell For Dummies ...)

Brian Hulley brianh at metamilk.com
Mon Dec 11 17:24:43 EST 2006

Arie Peterson wrote:
> More relevantly: again Dijkstra, but now on (programming as)
> composing music:
> "There are many different styles of composition. I characterize them
> always as Mozart versus Beethoven. When Mozart began to write at that
> time he had the composition ready in his mind. He wrote the
> manuscript and it
> was 'aus einem Guss' (casted as one). And it was also written very
> beautiful. Beethoven was an indecisive and a tinkerer and wrote down
> before he had the composition ready and plastered parts over to change
> them. There was a certain place where he plastered over nine times
> and one did remove that carefully to see what happened and it turned
> out the last version was the same as the first one."

This seems to me the essential problem: that most programming books assume 
the reader is divinely inspired like Mozart but the fact is that most of us 
must struggle hard like Beethoven.

Programming is a *messy* activity, therefore what's needed is a book to tell 
us how to turn lead into gold not just how to convert gold into syntax...

Regards, Brian.

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list