YAVF (Yet another Vanity FAQ)

Ron Resnick (rresnick@dialogosweb.com)
Fri, 05 Jun 1998 20:49:42 -0400

This one belonging to W. Richard Stevens.


Not as interesting as Tanenbaum's, since there's less personal
stuff, but still worth throwing on the VF collection.

Interesting bits:

>Q: How did you learn everything to write these books?
>I read lots of source code. In fact, the art of reading source code is >something that most universities do not teach, but something
>that is easy to do on your own.

I'd have to agree with this. At this juncture of my career,
there's no doubt that I read much more code than I write.
But it's amazing how instructive that can be.

>Q: You don't really write your books using troff, do you?
>Of course. What else is there? Troff is an industrial strength package >that I have spent years of my life learning. I use a modified
>version of the -ms macros for everything that I write. There are >numerous "tweaks" that I apply to my troff input before troff
>formats the pages, and I just can't imagine trying to implement some of >these details with something like Frame. I also use pic for
>all the figures. I can type faster than I can move a mouse, so I find >menu-driven drawing packages time consuming and frustrating.
>I don't use TeX because for years TeX and PostScript really didn't go >together. If my writing contained more math, I might
>consider switching to TeX.

Hmm. That's 2 faq votes for troff (Tanenbaum & Stevens),
zippo for the competition. I
used to be a reasonably adept LaTeXer years ago,
and did the hebrew version of my MSc thesis in troff, but am
now (sob) reduced to essentially unusable tools like Word and
Netscape's Composer (ok, stop throwing those rotten tomatoes at me!)

>Q: Why do your programs contain gotos?
>Read Structured Programming with go to Statements by Knuth in the ACM >Computing Surveys, Vol. 6, No. 4, Dec. 1974
>issue. (In fact, this entire issue of Computing Surveys is a classic.) >My challenge to the goto-less programmer is to recode
>tcp_input() (Chapters 27 and 28 of TCP/IPIv2) without any gotos ... >without any loss of efficiency (there has to be a catch).

So I take it that Herr Stevens would be aghast at suggestions
that we build the network from composable Java objects with
delightful vtable lookups ;-).

Also well worth checking out on Stevens' pages is:
for some interesting points of views on the virtues and vices
of RPCs.