Programmers Must Be Literate, Professor Says

At the 2011 Turing Lecture at London’s Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Stanford professor Donald Knuth called for “literate programming” as a way to improve software quality. “Programs should be written for human beings to read, not just computers. I consider myself a reporter or an essayist, and this attitude makes my programs better in almost every way,” Knuth said.

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“There is another style of programming which says 90% of it runs kind of OK, so some people are content to let it go at that,” he said.

Knuth said his ideas had been adopted by HP and AMD, but not Microsoft or Intel.

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