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[ba-unrev-talk] Dijkstra is no longer with us

http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/UTCS/notices/dijkstra/ewdobit.html    (01)

>From the article:
Dijkstra was notorious for his wit, eloquence, and way with words, such
as in his remark "The question of whether computers can think is like
the question of whether submarines can swim"; his advice to a promising
researcher, who asked how to select a topic for research: "Do only what
only you can do"; and his remark in his Turing Award lecture "In their
capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our
culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without
precedent in the cultural history of mankind."     (02)

Dijkstra enriched the language of computing with many concepts and
phrases, such as structured programming, separation of concerns,
synchronization, deadly embrace, dining philosophers, weakest
precondition, guarded command, the excluded miracle, and the famous
"semaphores" for controlling computer processes. The Oxford English
Dictionary cites his use of the words "vector" and "stack" in a
computing context.     (03)

Dijkstra enjoyed playing Mozart for his friends on his Boesendorfer
piano. He and his wife had a fondness for exploring state and national
parks in their Volkswagen bus, dubbed the Touring Machine, in which he
wrote many technical papers. 
---------------------------    (04)

I heard Edsgar Dijkstra lecture at Ohio State U. I particularly
remember "separation of concerns" as something that has guided 
my design thinking throught my career. I remember "guards" and
"weakest precondition", as well. I've long wished for a programming
methodology that would let me make good use of them. They seemed 
to lie on the path towards "provably correct programming", which
sits right next to the holy grail and other unprovable theorems.    (05)

I particlarly recall his admonition that the fundamental prerequiste
for programming skill was "great facility with your native tongue".
He would have seen Literate programming, not only as useful for
maintenance, but also a necissity for good design.    (06)

He was an engaging speaker, a no-holds-barred critic, and a 
brilliant intellect.    (07)