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Author Topic: Meaning of "Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler"  (Read 16055 times)
sinu.nayak2001
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« on: July 12, 2011, 08:19:02 AM »

Dear All,

What is the exact meaning of "Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler"?

Sincerely,
Srinivas Nayak
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sinu.nayak2001
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Posts: 22


« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2011, 06:55:30 AM »

This quote of Einstein is more often cited in computer science works that is simple and elegant.
Especially in Oberon works I have seen this.
Does it mean "the simplest"?

Got different meanings while searching in the Internet.
So thought better to get advice from the Oberon family.

Sincerely,
Srinivas Nayak
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Laksen
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2011, 07:29:52 PM »

It's a play on words. You can't really know what the simplest is so you won't know where to stop, if you just follow the statement blindly

My interpretation is: Make it as simple as possible without removing essential functionality, and THINK when you simplify something

If you wanted to you could remove the concept of local variables and parameters for procedures in Oberon, and it would be a great simplification! But you've also removed functionality which most would see as an unnecessary step.

The removal of the LOOP control statement in Oberon-07 is an example, for me, of a well justified simplification
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sinu.nayak2001
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2011, 07:02:21 AM »

Thanks Laksen,

LOOP control statement is removed from Oberon-7?

How to make loops then?
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kevinhely
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 04:22:46 PM »

Oberon-07 provides three statements for making loops:

WHILE <condition> DO <statement>
{ ELSIF <condition> DO <statement> }
END

REPEAT <statement> UNTIL <condition>

FOR <var> := <initial value> TO <final value> [ BY <increment> ] DO <statement> END

They are clearly specified in the Oberon-07 definition document.

K.
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leledumbo
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2011, 04:53:53 PM »

The removed construct is the unconditional loop:

LOOP <statement> END

Anyway, for me the meaning of those words is more or less the same as what kevin said.

Make it as "simple" as possible:
cut out what only adds complexity without bringing any significant added value.
e.g. the merge of definition/interface and implementation in Oberon's module system vs C/C++'s header + code, Pascal's unit and Modula's module (It's even followed by Java and many other languages).

But not "simpler":
we don't need while, repeat-until, or for. goto could do all of them and more.
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