June 18, 2002


You never know what you will be remembered for. Of all the words spoken and written by Richard Nixon, for example, the former President is perhaps best known for saying “I am not a crook.” Would Nixon ever have uttered those words had he known how famous they would become?

After reading a ZDNet article on the search engine, I decided to take a second look at AllTheWeb. In one of my trial searches, I discovered that I had been quoted in a 1997 German technical report by Lutz Prechelt, “An Experiment on the Usefulness of Design Patterns: Detailed Description and Evaluation.” The report describes an experiment to determine if software maintenance is facilitated by explicitly documenting design patterns in the code. The appendix showing the code that was used in the experiment is introduced by a sentence from a report on program reading written some years ago by Fernando Navada and me. Prechelt had picked out an item from a list of ideas to keep in mind when reading programs: “Consider the possibility that the programmer did not know what he was doing.”

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