Mike Pantzopoulos wrote:

>The point being that an elegant solution 
>produced a better result than a zillion 
>lines of code, or a zillion iterations of the 
>same code.

Mike,  This is very well said, but too many programmers reject metrics out
of hand by invoking the "Programming is Art"  battle cry.  Let's say that
you own your own programming business and you want to implement your
philosophy: "Elegant is better."  You want to reward those programmers who
put forward the more elegant solutions, right?

Keeping with the "art" philosophy, professional wine tasters are dealing
with completely subjective topics, yet they can rank a wine on several
elements blindly and repeatedly and come up with similar (if not identical!)
numerical scores.  They have rules they follow, and it's not a surprise that
several wine experts rank the same wines in pretty much the same order.

Thinking along positive lines, wouldn't it be better if we submit guidelines
that favour us (and our art) rather than wait for the accountants to simply
measure debugged, tested lines of code per day?

That's why I mentioned program metrics.  Like wine, you measure individual
attributes of the program.  I believe that you can indeed capture the
"elegance component" and assign a numerical score by inspecting the source
code.  I'm somewhat surprised at the lack of comment in that regard, but
perhaps there simply isn't anybody outside the Ivory Towers of Education &
Research who have ever used program metrics...

Buck Calabro
Aptis; Albany, NY
"Nothing is so firmly believed as
 that which we least know" -- Michel Montaigne
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