Thursday, May 22, 2014

On Abstraction - Vivek Haldar (Tue 20 May 2014)

Untitled - Hampstead Heath / London (Sun 18 Aug 2013)

Vivek Haldar (*) writes On Absrtaction (*):
It is telling that one of the central activities in programming is abstraction. Abstraction is nothing but taking a jumble of intricate detail, putting it in a tightly sealed box, and then poking very small, well-defined holes in the box to interact with that jumble. So clean! So much better!

But every abstraction is leaky. Ints carry the baggage of their bit-width. In a perfect world, every int would be a BigInt with unlimited range. But we live in a world where it matters whether ints fit in a hardware register or not. Networks carry the baggage of not being perfect links. In a perfect world, a link between two machines would be an immutable, always-available channel for sending messages between them. But we live in a world where wires break.
via Why technologists want to secede (*) by Vivek Haldar (*).

I like to abstract (*), but it is hard because of the imperfect world Vivek (*) describes and abstracts so well above.

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