Literate programming is a programming paradigm introduced by Donald Knuth in which a computer program is given an explanation of its logic in a natural language, such as English, interspersed with snippets of macros and traditional source code, from which compilable source code can be generated. Many examples are given, including excerpts from the programs for TeX and METAFONT. It is well known for its simplicity and it allows for text formatting in HTML rather than going through the TeX system. Literate programming is very often misunderstood[12] to refer only to formatted documentation produced from a common file with both source code and comments – which is properly called documentation generation – or to voluminous commentaries included with code. Unlike structured programming, literate programming often makes use of common-day language combined with source code that is considered traditional. Playgrounds also allow the user to add. [4] Literate programs are written as an uninterrupted exposition of logic in an ordinary human language, much like the text of an essay, in which macros are included to hide abstractions and traditional source code. The "<<*>>" symbol stands for the "root", topmost node the literate programming tool will start expanding the web of macros from. The system was developed by Donald Knuth at Stanford University with the purpose of enabling anyone to generate high-quality books, and to develop a system that yields the same results whatever computer is used. I do not buy the result. This approach makes it possible for the programmer to create macros that are descriptive and explanatory in nature, based on the though processes of the … Knuth wrote a "novel" which explains the code of the interactive fiction game Colossal Cave Adventure.[18]. It is an inverse literate programming tool available as a Ruby Gem. Literate programming is writing out the program logic in a human language with included (separated by a primitive markup) code snippets and macros. Docco Next facilitates literate programming in several languages. Power will soon belong to those who can master a variety of expressive human-machine interactions. [6] However, it correctly resembles the complicated nature of software delicately pieced together from simple materials.[1]. We understand a complicated system by understanding its simple parts, and by understanding the simple relations between those parts and their immediate neighbors. Literate tools take a literate file and essentially generate two types of files. Programming Is the New Literacy. But as time went on, I've become extremely pleased with the name, because I think that a complex piece of software is, indeed, best regarded as a web that has been delicately pieced together from simple materials. [1], In a noweb literate program besides the free order of their exposition, the chunks behind macros, once introduced with "<<...>>=", can be grown later in any place in the file by simply writing "<>=" and adding more content to it, as the following snippet illustrates ("plus" is added by the document formatter for readability, and is not in the code). It’s a powerful low-level markup and programming language that creates professional quality typeset text. Implementing literate programming consists of two steps: Weaving and tangling are done on the same source so that they are consistent with each other. Supports TeX equations. The preprocessor also provides an ability to write out the content of the macros and to add to already created macros in any place in the text of the literate program source file, thereby disposing of the need to keep in mind the restrictions imposed by traditional programming languages or to interrupt the flow of thought. Literate programmingis a way to write programs prioritized for understanding. The main intention behind this approach was to treat a program as literature understandable to human beings. Works in the format of notebooks, which combine headings, text (including LaTeX), plots, etc. The first published literate programming environment was WEB, introduced by Knuth in 1981 for his TeX typesetting system; it uses Pascal as its underlying programming language and TeX for typesetting of the documentation. Compilable modules are no separate entities, but they are extracted from the documentation. Weaving: Generating a comprehensive document about the program and its maintenance. —, If one remembers that the first version of the tool was called WEB, the amusing literary reference hidden by Knuth in these names becomes obvious: "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive" –, "A Multi-Language Computing Environment for Literate Programming and Reproducible Research", https://orgmode.org/worg/org-contrib/babel/intro.html, https://orgmode.org/worg/org-contrib/babel/languages.html#langs, https://orgmode.org/worg/org-contrib/babel/intro.html#literate-programming, Milestones in Computer Science and Information Technology, "Markup Formatting Reference: Markup Overview", "Sweave, Part I: Mixing R and LaTeX: A short introduction to the Sweave file format and corresponding R functions", "The Joy of Sweave – A Beginner's Guide to Reproducible Research with Sweave", "knitr: A General-Purpose Tool for Dynamic Report Generation in R", "Web 68: Literate programming with Algol 68", "Weaving a Program: Literate Programming in WEB", "Literate Programming – Issues and Problems", Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Literate_programming&oldid=996413715, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. 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