Edsger W. Dijkstra’s Blog

One of the blog parlor games is to come up with unlikely blog-like precursors. Doogie Howser, M.D. is a favorite. I’m going to propose computer scientist Edsger W. Dijkstra.

I’m a big fan of “Real Programmers Don’t Use PASCAL” which contains a few direct derogatory references to Mr. Dijkstra and is generally opposed to his views on computer science. I guess I like it more for it’s computer geek-heroic tone. Since I am mostly a proponent of system and method, I am on the side of Mr. Dijkstra. But anyway, from the Wikipedia page on Mr. Dijkstra:

Dijkstra was known for his essays on programming; … He was also known for his habit of carefully composing manuscripts with his fountain pen. The manuscripts are called EWDs, since Dijkstra numbered them with EWD as prefix. Dijkstra would distribute photocopies of a new EWD among his colleagues; as many recipients photocopied and forwarded their copy, the EWDs spread throughout the international computer science community. The topics are mainly computer science and mathematics, but also include trip reports, letters, and speeches. More than 1300 EWDs have since been scanned, with a growing number also transcribed to facilitate search, and are available online at the Dijkstra archive of the University of Texas

Mr. Dijkstra’s “blog,” EDW is hosted here.

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