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Out of the Tar Pit

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Whitepaper, 66 pages
Published February 6th 2006
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Anil Wadghule
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Agree it's essential reading for any serious software developer. It pretty much sums up the way I used to think about using multiple programming languages and using the right tool for right job. Neatly describes complexity and simplicity in Software. Lots of insights about FP vs. OOP.
Sujith
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are two parts to this work. The first part explains the ways in which OO programming, functional programming, and relational algebra respectively try to solve the sprawl of accidental complexity (accidental state, behaviour, and performance) in software systems. The second part describes a new way to model the same: the authors have named it Functional Relational Programming (FRP).

Past reviews have described the first part as essential reading, while the second part is characterised as eso
...more
Stephen Goss
May 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is my absolute favorite academic paper on software design.
Rasmus Källqvist
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. I found this cited in "Data Oriented Design" by Richard Fabian, and while the book by Fabian works as a nice kind of cookbook for a specific kind of games programming, I found that this paper satisfied my yearning for a more thorough explanation of designing software based on the relational model.

I'm still a believer in the OOP-object, but Out of the Tar Pit presents convincing arguments about the inherent limits of having information in the system accessible only in a network-m
...more
molty cheese
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Effect systems for the rescue

Maybe because I recently read a lot of papers on the topic and now view everything through the "effect" lens, it seems like FRP can be nicely implemented (throwing away relational part) using high- and low-level interpreters.
This way you can:
- both clearly separate data and control flows, as stated by the paper;
- put all essential logic into high-level effects, which just declaratively state what the system is supposed to be doing;
- test it independently from accide
...more
Enrique
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very interesting reading for a programmer. Complexity is one of the biggest problems in software development and the only way to deal with it is by simplifying it.
This essay explains a way to do that.
Tae
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first half is a Must Read for professional programmers IMHO. The second one is quite interesting but yet speculative.
Bill
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
Exactly what I'd expect from academic computer science: a few interesting observations defining a problem followed by pages upon pages of a solution that has absolutely no applicability to the real world whatsoever. In this paper, I found the beginning compelling where it strictly defines accidental complexity of a system in contrast to its essential complexity. However, the authors end with an abstract infrastructure that they claim only takes 1500 lines of Scheme to implement (!!) and is compl ...more
Jan Van Ryswyck
A must read for any serious software developer.
Iván
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
are we there yet?
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