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Comment Missing the point (Score 1) 411 411

A lot of the comments seem to be defending the necessity of the "chaff." That seems to miss the point of the article. The authors aren't criticizing the extra code (much of which IS necessary to make the code functional, readable, and maintainable), they're suggesting that recognizing that only a small subset of the code defines the core functionality can be used in interesting ways. Programmers already take advantage of this in a variety of ways: we have auto-complete in our IDEs, we use web frameworks that write a lot of glue code so we can focus on the problem at hand, and we (sometimes) use newer languages that remove the need for a lot of scaffolding code.

Their application section gives an idea of what they really have in mind: natural language programming for simple tasks, search for common tasks across diverse code bases, and summarizing code functionality using auto-generated "minsets." There are probably a lot of other tasks we could accomplish if we were reliably able to distill a large block of code to its semantic core.

Comment Re:warning! (Score 1) 245 245

Your anecdote actually proves the point of the article - if there is already a high concentration of delinquent behavior, kids introduced into that environment are likely to behave poorly themselves. The question is whether it works the other way: would you have a better chance of reforming the behavior of an individual problem student if you placed him with the honors class?

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