Talk:Considered harmful

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Not a stub[edit]

I removed the "stub" designation for this article, as I didn't feel it could reasonably be expanded. - Scooter 18:50, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/004675.html has some more information that could fit here. Schutz 18:00, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Other examples[edit]

Here's another example that I did not put into the "other well-known 'considered harmful' essays" section because (ta-da!) if it isn't there already, maybe it isn't well-known:

Paul Abrahams (April 1975). "Structured Programming Considered Harmful", SIGPLAN Notices 10 (4): 13-24

Jim 21:19, 26 October 2007 (UTC)


Author of the First Letter[edit]

This Article says it was Niklaus Wirth and not Edsger. Would change it myself but I am scared of editing References ;-)

The March 1968 ACM letter's famous title, "Go To Statement Considered Harmful", [1] was not the work of Dijkstra, but of Niklaus Wirth, vs
It was popularized by Edsger Dijkstra's letter "Go To Statement Considered Harmful" —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.45.156.181 (talk) 19:38, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

This article already says the same thing, in the first paragraph: "The original title of the letter, as submitted to CACM, was "A Case Against the Goto Statement," but CACM editor Niklaus Wirth changed the title to the now immortalized "Go To Statement Considered Harmful."[4]" RossPatterson (talk) 00:53, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

What is this theory?[edit]

I've read the article, and feel I haven't gained any knowledge about Dijkstra's theory about avoiding "GOTO". Why is it not preferable, aside from the obvious (but now effectively negligible) time it takes to put a new value in the program counter? Wilsonsamm (talk) 13:41, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Read Dijkstra's letter that started the whole "considered harmful" debate and meme. It's reference #2 in the article. He makes his case very clearly. RossPatterson (talk) 02:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Wilsonsamm, read the goto and spaghetti code articles. —Lowellian (reply) 01:55, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Goto Considered Harmful[edit]

I'm really disappointed with this article. Not only are articles linked here for exposition of "Goto considered harmful", but this article seems to be at odds with the article on Dijkstra, which states that Nicholas Wirth published the article bearing the "considered harmful" terminology, not Dijkstra. 70.251.148.39 (talk) 23:10, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

what exactly is the point of this page?[edit]

Lots of things are "considered harmful". Smoking, exposure to the sun. Is the page supposed to be a list of every progrming construct that anyone every wrote an article criticising and happend to use that particular fairly common phrase? Seems un wikipeida ish to say the least.

132.3.33.81 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:13, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

It's clear from the article that this was/is a specialised 'unexpected' use of the phrase to emphasise the harmful nature of a programming construct.
Everyone knows smoking is harmful; at the time, not every saw the danger of the goto statement.
peterl (talk) 00:55, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
At the time the letter appeared many programmers, especially those using Fortran, saw GOTO as necessary to programming. Those using assembler were of a similar mind, because they assumed Fortran's GOTO was their "JMP" instruction, which obviously could not be avoided. One of the major tasks in programming was to pick apart, flowchart, and possibly understand existing large programs. Refactoring (as we would do now) was seen as totally infeasible, because it would require keypunching thousands of cards, followed by months of tedious debugging, to no apparent benefit. Snezzy (talk) 10:03, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
I think it's also worth commenting that Wirth, in at least his early compilers, was a fairly heavy user of GOTO (GO TO in at least some ALGOL implementations). Taking that into account, I think that there might have been at least a small amount of incredulity or even sarcasm in his choice of title. See Wirth's Euler compiler written in Burroughs ALGOL at [1], noting that this project will probably move shortly. MarkMLl (talk) 12:52, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

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External links modified[edit]

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