Elements of code beauty

I have a great meeting in few hours. With an Internet Mogul. A real Tycoon. The kind of guy you would like to resemble if you love software, business, entrepreneurship. It’s not a one-to-one meeting but I will be part of the people who will have the chance to hear him, discuss with him, and surely get some nice advices. I will need to sleep before. And I will share my experience later.

But before that, I am reading about code beauty, and I found some interesting points made by Jon Bentley in one of his writings. is credited with the invention of the k-d tree

Jon received a B.S. in mathematical sciences from Stanford University in 1974, and M.S. and Ph.D in 1976 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill;

I’ve decided to share the ideas I found in my reading as they present themselves elegantly and can fire up some ideas in our neurons. The following is an excerpt of Jon’s writing.

Beauty has many sources. The following aphorisms all express this overarching theme of code beauty.

Strive to add function by deleting code.

A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. (Saint-Exupery)

Anything to remove ?

Is there anything else to remove ?

In software, the most beautiful code, the most beautiful functions, and the most beautiful programs are sometimes not there at all.

Vigorous writing is concise. Omit needless words. (Strunk and White)


Did we omit something ?

The cheapest, fastest and most reliable components of a computer system are those that aren’t there. (Bell)

Endeavor to do more and more with less and less.

If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter. (Pascal)

The inventor’s Paradox: the more ambitious plan may have more chance of success. (Polya)

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it. (Perlis)

Less is more. (Browning)

Less can me more...or less

Less can be more…or less

Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler. (Einstein)

Software should sometimes be seen as a soap bubble. (Perlis)

Seek beauty through simplicity.

That’s it for today. I have to sleep because in few hours, I’m meeting with an Internet Tycoon  Genius Billionaire. Yes, you read it correct. I hope to learn a ton from him. More later.

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