While I was doing my morning reading I came across this weblog by Jeffrey Kegler about his parser called Marpa. My post is not about his parser, even though it’s very interesting. This post is about the way the weblog guides and explains the work and ideas in the parser. It even includes historical information about where the ideas come from.
It made me think about the work Simon Peyton-Jones has done on writing a research paper. He explains that writing a paper helps your thinking. On the fifth slide he says that instead of first doing research you start with an idea (any idea) and then write a paper. In the course of writing this paper you will do the research needed to fill in the blanks.
Idea -> Write paper -> Do research
I would like to contribute that when you write software you can use your weblog to explain and crystallize your ideas to your audience. The weblog works as a guide and shows you where you are and where you’re going. It may even help reflect on your progress and false starts.