Freshmeat: The Document is the Program

Over the years, desktop computer users have thrown up a
number of straw men to explain why they can’t use Free operating
systems. The community has shot them down one by one, from “It
doesn’t support my hardware” to “There’s no business software
available”, but there’s still one complaint that too often goes
unanswered: “I can’t make heads or tails of this manual!
” In
today’s editorial, Hairy Larry discusses the need for documentation
and the three types of documents he thinks are essential to any

“Before you write a line of code, you should have at least a
preliminary version of your specifications document. This does not
mean that you shouldn’t write toy programs as feasibility studies.
(It’s nice to know that something is possible before you commit to
a lot of work.) It does mean that before you start on your .001
Alpha version, you should have a pretty good idea of where you are

“And here’s the reason why: Algorithms + Data Structures =
Programs. Or, as I have heard it said, the database is the program.
I really don’t know of any substantial programming project that
doesn’t rely on data.”