Critical Program Reading: Structuring An Unstructured Program. Part 1 (May 16, 1975)

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Critical Program Reading: Structuring An Unstructured Program. Part 1 (May 16, 1975)

Info

Release Date: May 16, 1975
Length: 17:49
Series: Critical Program Reading
Co-Producer: Ethnotech

Credits

Gerald Weinberg (Author)
Dennis Geller (Author)
Tom Plum (Author)
Naomi Kleid (Author)


Critical Program Reading: Structuring An Unstructured Program. Part 1 was a film released by Edutronics Systems International Inc. on May 16, 1975 to customers in the business and education sectors.

This film is part 1 of the Structured Programming Techniques course.

Summary[edit | edit source]

The narrator discusses with three co-worker characters a section of unstructured sales analysis code in a pseudocode language:

RR = RETS / (ORFL + BKOR - RETS).
IF RR IS LESS THAN .20
THEN GO TO END-OF-ANALYSIS.
IF RR IS LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO .33
THEN ADD ONE TO HRC,
GO TO END-OF-ANALYSIS.
PERFORM HR-REPORT.
END-OF-ANALYSIS:

Over the course of the film, the four pick apart the code, and find ways to make it easier to read for future coworkers that may look over it. They use 12 concepts to tackle this problem:

  1. Correct-Modifiable-Understandable Programs
  2. Consistency Aids Understanding
  3. Use Symbols In A Natural Way
  4. Add Structure To Aid Understanding
  5. Don't Be Misled By Poor Code
  6. Take The Time To Be Precise
  7. Don't Create Hard Questions
  8. Structured Code Needs No Flow Diagrams
  9. Decomposition: Divide And Conquer
  10. Style Improves The Basic Language
  11. Wrong Means Poor Structure
  12. At First, Ignore Language Details

By the end, the final code looks like:

IF FRACTION-OF-RETURNS IS GREATER THAN .20
     THEN
     IF FRACTION-OF-RETURNS IS LESS THAN .33
          THEN ADD ONE TO HRC,
          GO TO END-OF-ANALYSIS
          ELSE PERFORM HR-REPORT.
END-OF-ANALYSIS

Credits[edit | edit source]

The film was co-produced by Ethnotech, with its founder- Gerald Weinberg being credited on the film alongside Dennis Geller and Tom Plum.[1] An article confirms all three were authors to the series. Naomi Kleid is also credited for authoring the series, but is not credited directly.[2] It is unknown who are the voice actors for the characters within the film, though given there are four characters and four writers, they may have a shared voice credit.

References[edit | edit source]