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First of all: I'm biased, I have such a profound admiration for EWD that my judgments will be clouded, so I'm not going to make any of them. ;-) On the other hand, I'd like to help clarify few things.
He had a very clear ideas of what elegance is for him. Not only in programming, but in everything involves thinking; this paper should clarify what he meant with elegance, or better, with mathematical elegance:
or http://tinyurl.com/6dhp5y (HTML version)
This one is a bit longer, but even more explicit, still on the topic of mathematical elegance:
or http://tinyurl.com/6g9v5x (HTML version)
More than "spranging from Zeus' head", a metaphor that would describe the way he wrote programs is that he was building up mathematical proofs; in fact, more than a metaphore, it is truth. His research involved deeply axiomatic formal methods of programming. To get a feel of what it involves you can check out this very long paper:
or http://tinyurl.com/6gj2yn (HTML version)
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It would be nice if you left your e-mail address. Sometimes I want to send a private message, or just thank for the great comment. Having your e-mail really helps.
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