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LePUS3 anybody?

 
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In the category of "Interesting stuff I am totally by-passing for now because I have too much other stuff to look at":

I noticed in the Wikipedia link on Adapter Pattern, there were numerous examples demonstrated in LePUS3 (what a name!)

I followed the link to that just out of irresistible curiosity and it did look sort of interesting:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LePUS3

Has anyone done much work with it?

UML already takes up enough space in my brain, but it looks like LePUS3 buys some people more, perhaps much more.

My favorite thing about UML is that it is better in my mind than dealing with 4 or 7 or 10 visual representations that might each be better in some ways or even in every way, but at least it is standard and I am not switching gears mentally and trying to remember new notations every time I follow a different link or pick up a different book.  Yes, I remember life before UML and that was the problem.  Not that there were no good ways to represent stuff visually, but rather that there were too many of them, all a bit different...

Anyway, back to the Adapter Pattern, but somehow I had completely ignored LePUS3 until this afternoon...it was not used in any of my textbooks or commonly-referred-to websites before I started noticing it on Wikipedia...

 
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Never of heard of it before, but I know of similar things. More on that momentarily.

"Lepus" is the Latin/taxonomic name for the various rabbit/hare species. The unfortunate capitalization, however, makes it sound more like a nasty infection.

Anyway, a number of specification languages/notations have popped up over the years. One of the most famous of which is Backus-Naur notation. John Backus was one of the principal inventors of the FORTRAN programming language, and as a matter of fact, I think that BNF was developed at least in part as part of that effort. The lesser-known contributor is Peter Naur, and I suppose I should look him up on Wikipedia just to see what he is famous for. OK. I did. Algol.

IBM used the Z specification language to formally specify CICS as a guide to producing provably-correct code. James Martin, an IBM fellow wrote an entire book on provably-correct programs. I have a copy.

Yet we continue to spew out tons of software trash every year. Why? Well, in large part because using systems like this for general programming isn't "productive" (You can have it by Thursday, right? All You Have To Do Is...).

And, of course, as some cynics have noted, no machine can ever replace a human programmer until users finally figure out what they really want.
 
Jesse Silverman
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I learned to love Railroad Diagrams and BNF not from FORTRAN class (at that point I thought Backus was the fellow who played Mr. Maggoo) but from the user manual for OSS Personal Pascal that I got around Christmas '85 or so on the Atari ST...(how someone could compare that thing with a full 8 MHz 68000 to a PC is another story we will forget for now)...

They were just so cool.  I was in love with them.

People paid hundreds of $$$ for software that would draw electronic circuit board layouts in those days, so I am sure if anyone had written code to do this it would have been pricey too:

https://github.com/tabatkins/railroad-diagrams

https://www.bottlecaps.de/rr/ui

If I recall correctly,  they were all drawn by hand...a quick search found a scan of the much-reworked 1987 Version 2 docs, also by hand...

Anyway, that wasn't the point, there are systems that go a long way towards the provably correct stuff that Dijkstra was after his whole life...

But I only had time for a little Nostalgia Flashback for now...back to the Design Patterns which was my actual focus.  I do think there is something to offer here tho.
 
Tim Holloway
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I "inherited" a minicomputer in college and one of the projects that had been left on it was a flow-charting program. I have a binder with a copy of the source code in my office. I got it working (it was a port from a different architecture and was a mix of Fortran and the previous machine's machine's assembler). But I never used it for anything. The back of an envelope usually suffices for my diagrams unless I'm drawing up formal design documents.

Djikstra was very keen on developing provably correct programming styles, but as far as I know never tried to create any automated tools. Unlike Donald Knuth whose "Web" Literate Programming tool was actually realized (though it didn't attempt to prove constructs the way that Z does).

I've done railroad diagrams by selective mis-use of standard flowcharting templates, but these days, my go-to tool is often the AT&T-developed graphviz. Or ArgoUML.

One of the primary functions of LePUS seems to have been to illustrate design patterns. But I can do that with Graphviz. Or, for that matter, Visio. The reverse-engineering aspect is not clearly explained in the Wikipedia article. Provability doesn't seem to be a factor either.

But the fatal problem is that all of the principal links are broken. You cannot actually find out anything about the product, including how to obtain a copy. About all that's widely-available seems to be copies of research papers.

So that doesn't bode well for LePUS. Maybe they should have chosen a more fortunate name.
 
Jesse Silverman
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Tim Holloway wrote:

But the fatal problem is that all of the principal links are broken. You cannot actually find out anything about the product, including how to obtain a copy. About all that's widely-available seems to be copies of research papers.

So that doesn't bode well for LePUS. Maybe they should have chosen a more fortunate name.



Everything else you said is very interesting as well, but will be ignored here to keep myself on my study goals for the weekend.

The part I quoted is very important to me recently.
CodeRanch is very much a living, breathing, dynamic site with a lot of very well-informed people regularly participating in an ongoing manner.
Recently I noted that nobody would get that impression from some of our FAQ's and list-of-links pages.

I get it, we are all here because it is interesting, not because we are getting paid, and maintaining FAQ pages and list-of-links pages is relatively boring for most individuals.

I've tried to help out on some of those for two primary reasons:
1. If someone's approach to CodeRanch for some reason starts with reference to those less well-maintained pages, they will get a false impression that CodeRanch is as dead as LePUS3 seems to be, which would be very unfortunate for all concerned.
2. I had been finding a lot of "much newer" material that is either clearly of very high quality, or seems likely to be, which was not mentioned on the relevant pages.  I didn't want to go thru the effort of trying to find it again, and despite my best efforts, my browser bookmarks are just overflowing with interesting things I want to check out "some day" only partially organized.  Far more people will benefit from me adding appropriate material that we can all share it.

I think these aspects are probably more important to us than LePUS3, which honestly sounded a little interesting from the little I read on it in Wikipedia, but has now slid down even further on my list of potential learning priorities seeing the out-to-lunch status of those primary sources on it, to Very Low Indeed.
 
Tim Holloway
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I'm afraid you're just going to have to scrape LePUS into the bin. With neither code nor documentation, its only hope is that someday someone may revive it, but by then, probably much changed.

The CodeRanch isn't really seen by anyone as a place for FAQs or links. Our forté has always been discussion. I tried setting up a FAQ years ago, but it was such a pain to do that I dropped it. More recently it has become easier, and we support Wiki format now, but we're still not really playing up that sort of stuff.

I too have tons of browser bookmarks. I almost never remember to check them. For data I want to actively track, I have an unholy mix of Gnote (hyperlinked Post-Itâ„¢ style onscreen notes), Joplin (like the late lamented Evernote, but I don't have to keep data on someone else's server) and Task Warrior (prioritized to-do items with repeatability, delayed display and history).

I have a master Gnote note that links me to my hot projects and I email a copy of my TaskWarrio to-do list to myself automatically each morning. Joplin is more like a general knowledge repository for me, but also it shares between desktop, mobile devices, and even has a text-only version for emergency reference from my non-GUI server machines.

If I was really ambitious, I'd probably have some sort of selective sync between Gnote and Joplin, but I don't know what I'd want it to do.
 
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Tim Holloway wrote:So that doesn't bode well for LePUS. Maybe they should have chosen a more fortunate name.



Au contraire -- my research found "In the Chinese culture, the rabbit is known to be the luckiest out of all the twelve animals". And this is even the Year of the Rabbit. Seems like none of that has helped.
 
Tim Holloway
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Non. They didn't call it "lepus", they called it "Le Pus"! Probably died of the plague.
 
Jesse Silverman
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Okay, this has now devolved into comedy (albeit hysterical).

I would like to draw a distinction between various esoteric interests I may have, which do matter to me, and those that I would consider important to share with the CodeRanch community due to our well-attested common interests.

I would love to find out which songs that people prefer the "Live at Leeds" versions of versus "Live at Hull", but haven't brought it up here not because it is contentious, but arguably tangential to producing excellent software solutions.

In contrast to having a lot of stale or outright dead links for OOAD on our FAQ while ignoring some of the best sites that have been put up on the topics in the past five years, which I would enjoy tackling collectively.  I've now added the better ones that I am currently taking a break from consulting in order to post this, because you guys cracked me up.

If you were trying to learn Design Patterns from Wikipedia, which is not such a crazy way to try to do so, it would look like LePUS was still relevant,  I am guessing some of their Evangelists made a major push to Represent there at some time in the past (searching the revision history to find out when that was would be something I don't have time to invest in, and have crossed off my list seeing how stale their links have become).

 
Tim Holloway
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The only thing worse than a dead link is a link to outdated information. I was plagued for years by bad JSF code examples on that forum that were based on pre-release docs that Google pushed ahead of more relevant stuff.

But if you know of dead links on our site, please let us know so we can fix them!
 
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