[plt-scheme] Reading and understanding large programs

From: hendrik at topoi.pooq.com (hendrik at topoi.pooq.com)
Date: Tue Jun 16 09:10:29 EDT 2009

On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 02:42:29PM -0300, Luciano Ramalho wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 2:24 PM, aditya
> shukla<adityashukla1983 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Can someone please share some ideas on how to go about reading and
> > understanding large programs?
> Are you comfortable reading and understanding small programs?
> If so, then determine how you to split the large program in small
> parts. A well designed large program is always modular, you just need
> to figure out how it is structured. Then test and exercise the parts
> separately. A modern well designed large program should also have a
> suite of tests that can help you understand how individual components
> work. If the program does not have tests, writing tests is the best
> way to start understanding it.

I always start by looking for the documentation.
If there isn't any, I start to wonder whether the whole enterprise is 
worth it.  A program has to be really important before it's worthwhile 
understanding it without documentation.

And it there is some, I look into whether it matches the code.   If it 
doesn't, that's always a clue as to what issues the users and 
implementers were facing.

-- hendrik

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