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Author Topic:   A new member of the legion of geek ghosts
EngrBohn
Uber Geek

Posts: 902
From: United States
Registered: Jul 2000

posted August 07, 2002 11:04     Click Here to See the Profile for EngrBohn   Click Here to Email EngrBohn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Earlier this year, Edsger Dijkstra returned to the Netherlands with incurable stomach cancer, to die there...

quote:

Subject: Dijkstra
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2002 17:18:31 -0500 (CDT)

To: the friends and associates of E.W. Dijkstra

Edsger died at 11PM on Tuesday, August 6th, at his home in Neunen, the
Netherlands. The end came quietly; he simply stopped breathing. His
wife, Ria, and all his children were with him at the end.

--
Jayadev Misra

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: from the family
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2002 04:18:12 +0200


Grateful for most that has befallen him, has peacefully passed away,
Edsger Wybe Dijkstra,
our husband and father.

We hold him very dear.

The cremation will take place on

Saterday, August 10th, 12:30 PM at
Somerenseweg 120
Heeze
the Netherlands

Maria C. Dijkstra Debets
Marcus J. Dijkstra
Femke E. Dijkstra
Rutger M. Dijktra



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cb
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quantumfluff
Uber Geek

Posts: 933
From: under the mouse pad
Registered: Jun 2000

posted August 07, 2002 14:00     Click Here to See the Profile for quantumfluff   Click Here to Email quantumfluff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey everyone. We can start using GOTO again.

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ilovemydualg4
Highlie

Posts: 607
From: *GASP* THE 3RD DIMMENSION
Registered: Mar 2002

posted August 07, 2002 18:17     Click Here to See the Profile for ilovemydualg4   Click Here to Email ilovemydualg4     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
mind if i ask without being flamed...
who is this?

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“Water outside boat good. Water inside boat bad. Water in air bad” - “Tim”

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EngrBohn
Uber Geek

Posts: 902
From: United States
Registered: Jul 2000

posted August 08, 2002 04:55     Click Here to See the Profile for EngrBohn   Click Here to Email EngrBohn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dijkstra could be called the father of structured programming. In 1968, he published GOTO Considered Harmful in CACM (according to legend, he wanted to publish a full-length paper, but decided it was more important to get this idea published quickly and made it a letter-to-the-editor). A tongue-in-cheek response was the proposal of the COMEFROM, which is funny on its own, but it's even funnier because one of the latest "interest items" is aspect-oriented programming, which looks like COMEFROM to me.

He's also famous for observing that "Program testing can best show the presence of errors but never their absence".

And he's responsible for a well-known algorithm to find the shortest path between two points on a weighted graph.

He's the 1972 recipient of the Turing Award (not to be confused with the Turing Prize), which could be considered the "Nobel Prize for Computer Science".

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cb
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EngrBohn
Uber Geek

Posts: 902
From: United States
Registered: Jul 2000

posted August 08, 2002 06:08     Click Here to See the Profile for EngrBohn   Click Here to Email EngrBohn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
his obituary

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cb
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quantumfluff
Uber Geek

Posts: 933
From: under the mouse pad
Registered: Jun 2000

posted August 08, 2002 06:16     Click Here to See the Profile for quantumfluff   Click Here to Email quantumfluff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was about to post the obit, but you beat me to it. I like the bit about "The Touring Machine"

COMEFROM is not really similar aspect-oriented techniques. It did get implemented in C-INTERCAL.

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perfectstormy
Geek

Posts: 60
From: New Hampshire
Registered: Jun 2002

posted August 08, 2002 07:05     Click Here to See the Profile for perfectstormy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by quantumfluff: Hey everyone. We can start using GOTO again.

Perhaps in this case, his program executed a GOTO. Or perhaps he made an exception...

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EngrBohn
Uber Geek

Posts: 902
From: United States
Registered: Jul 2000

posted August 08, 2002 07:05     Click Here to See the Profile for EngrBohn   Click Here to Email EngrBohn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think aspect-oriented programming does have a COMEFROM flavor. When you write code that should be executed when the program counter hits some other part of the code, without modifying that other part of the code, that sounds like COMEFROM to me.

\begin{edit}
But it is a more managed form of COMEFROM than the raw COMEFROM (as procedure calls are to GOTO). But unchecked, it still makes it harder to reason about the correctness of the program -- and worse, if applying it to an existing codebase, it may invalidate the reasoning of the original code.
\end{edit}

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cb
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