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programwizard

Toughest thing to program

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I haven't started an interesting, thought provoking thing in a while, so I thought I would ask the question: what do you think is the toughest thing to program? I'd say MMORPG is in 3rd place, compiler is in 2nd, and OS is the toughest. When I say toughest, I mean most amount of work involved/skills needed. All opinions are welcome!

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Obviously, such a question is inherantly unanswerable. There are countless open problems that haven't had solutions created yet. Clearly, these are all significantly more difficult to program than any of your suggestions. But which of them is the most difficult? Quite impossible to say, since they haven't actually been programmed yet.

CM

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Writing a program to determine if an arbitrary input program will terminate or run forever would be pretty hard [wink].

Enigma

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Quote:
Original post by Daniel Miller
Actually, I think some OSs would be easier to write than some MMORPGs, which would be easier to write than some RTS games, etc.


I concur.

Both OSes and RTSes are (for the most part) tried-and-true technology unless you try something new or fancy, given how long they've been around. Even Microsoft's OSes have started to become fairly stable. I've been able to pick up books on the subject of OS writing, I havn't seen any "teach yourself MMO programming in 21 days" books yet, however, because of the relative newness of the scaling technologies behind it.

However, it's entirely possible to do tricky stuff in writing OSes and RTSes as well. Case in point: GNU Hurd, an OS slated to have integrated beowulf clustering support. That's like an MMOOS. It dosn't even have this support yet, last I heard.

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Quote:
Original post by fnm
a c++ parser should keep one busy for some time.


With the right tools, something like that is actually fairly easy.

As Mr. McCloud mentions, there are problems far harder than those in that they're impossible or debatably impossible. As for something that should be plausible, albeit highly difficult is writing a program to beat the highest ranked human at the game of Go on a 19x19 board. [to my knowledge no program has even beaten a low-level pro]

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Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
With the right tools, something like that is actually fairly easy.

Right, the C++ language isn't too syntactically interesting - it's more a compiler for modern ISO C++ (with templates and the works) that I wouldn't want to approach!

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Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
Quote:
Original post by fnm
a c++ parser should keep one busy for some time.


With the right tools, something like that is actually fairly easy.


would that generate an AST?

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