Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Literate Programming Hack: Knit

I can't really use CWEB or other disruptive Literate Programming tools at work. I want some of the benefits that Literate Programming brings, but I can't take the baggage (at least not at work).

Yet, when I code in a LP style, I tend to be much more precise and correct. My code does tend to be less buggy. I think it is because it forces me to really think about my code in such a way that I want to be able to explain (and understand) every variable and every line. After all, the code becomes something I have to talk about, not just pump out. Do I really need a variable here? Do I really understand how that library macro works?

So, a couple of nights of hacking and I have yet-another-pitiful-LP-inspired-code-markup technique. I call it Knit.

It is written in gawk and embeds its own documentation in the source code comments. I hope to have some C examples soon.

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