[Oberon] a module a page (keeps the mind sane)?

John R. Strohm strohm at airmail.net
Sat Nov 3 23:15:26 CET 2018

In "Psychology of Computer Programming", from the early 1970s or so, 
Weinberg reported that studies showed that programmer comprehension 
generally dropped dramatically the moment the programmer had to scroll the 
edit window or turn the page on a listing.  This gave rise to the "one page, 
one module" guideline.

Bob Walkden said:
> There was a very practical reason for a 'one page, one procedure' rule 
> when I started programming in the early 1980s.

> I was a COBOL programmer and we did not have terminals or such luxuries. 
> Instead we wrote our code in pencil on coding sheets (paper), submitted it 
> to the data prep women (always women) and a few days later received the 
> sheets back with a paper tape version of the source code which we could 
> then attempt to compile.
> Because we practised Jackson Structured Programming we could write 
> subroutines which fit on one coding sheet and re-use the coding sheets for 
> other programs, or shuffle them, insert other code on separate sheets etc 
> as needed. Only for short, simple edits and quick compiler turnaround when 
> we had the machine to ourselves on a Tuesday evening did we need to cut 
> and paste, quite literally, the paper tape.
> Anything involving a new coding sheet would take a week, but that was much 
> easier than dealing with something monolithic which involve re-pencilling 
> numerous sheets from scratch. 

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