Communications of the ACM: Building the Universal Archive of Source Code

Communications of the ACM: Building the Universal Archive of Source Code. “Software source code is a precious, unique form of knowledge. It can be readily translated into a form executable by a machine, and yet it is human readable: Harold Abelson wrote ‘Programs must be written for humans to read,’1 and source code is the preferred form for modification of software artifacts by developers.3 Quite differently from other forms of knowledge, we have grown accustomed to use version-control systems that trace source code development, and provide precious insight into its evolution. As Len Shustek puts it, ‘Source code provides a view into the mind of the designer.’4 And yet, we have not been taking good care of this precious form of knowledge.”

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