I’m Jochen Fromm (abbreviated “JoFr” or 0×4a6f4672 in hexadecimal notation), and this is one of my blogs, my programming blog. It’s mainly about software development and Ruby on Rails programming. I was born roughly at Unix time 0, in Ruby Time.at(0), at a time of seemingly rapid appearance of most major groups of PCs: the “cambrium of the PC”. My first computer was an Apple II with twin floppy disk drives and a green monitor, which I tried to program in BASIC, PASCAL and Assembler (for the 8-Bit 6502 Microprocessor). Today I still work as a software developer and live in Berlin, Germany.
Why the title “4 lines of code” ? Because the goal of every software developer is writing clean, beautiful and powerful code, which is easy too understand. Good software engineers do the simplest thing that could possibly work. 4 Lines of code is the point where complexity sets in, where things get convoluted, complicated and complex. The main control structures (procedures, functions, blocks, if-then-else control structures and loops) contain typically at least 3 lines. 4 Lines – this is what every developer can usually understand immediately. So if I post source code, I will try to keep the number of lines below 5. If you can’t solve the problem of a function in 4 lines of code, then it is getting complex and harder to grasp. There is a lot which you can describe in only 6 words, 55 words or a single sentence. How much can you do with 4 lines of code? Is it possible to find a 4-line program which is able to generate the behaviour of our known real universe? Stephen Wolfram thinks yes. A Wired article says: “Wolfram predicts an algorithmic key to the universe that can compute quantum physics – or, say, reality TV – in four lines of code.”