quarta-feira, 1 de setembro de 2010

Good writing is equal to good programming

I just read Zinsser (2010), and I though that his approach has a lot in
common with good programming, and indeed with some good universal design

Zinsser basically resumes his thoughts with these sentences:

  • Short is better than long.
  • Simple is good. (Louder)
  • Long Latin nouns are the enemy.
  • Anglo-Saxon active verbs are your best friend.
  • One thought per sentence.

I think all of that are equivalent to a combination of these universal
principles of design: William Lidwell (2003):

  1. Accessibility - the principle that asserts that the design should be
    usable by people of diverse backgrounds.

  2. Chunking - accommodates short term memory limits by formatting
    information into small number of units.

  3. Interference effects - when outputs of different mental system
    are incongruent, interference occurs and additional processing is

  4. Ockham's razor - Oldie but goodie. As Einstein puts it
    Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

To close, this little exercise was a great evidence on how writing is simply
to program in a different media for a different audience (or vice versa) but
the same principles apply to both of them.


Jill Butler William Lidwell, Kritina Holden.

Universal Principles of Design.

october 2003.

William Zinsser.

Writing english as a second language.



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