Literate Programming on a Team Project (Abstract)

Norman Ramsey and Carla Marceau

We used literate programming on a team project to write a 33,000-line program for the Synthesizer Generator. The program, Penelope, was written using WEB, a tool designed for writing literate programs. Unlike other WEB programs, many of which have been written by WEB's developer or by individuals, Penelope was not intended to be published. We used WEB in the hope that both our team and its final product would benefit from the advantages often attributed to literate programming. The WEB source served as good internal documentation throughout development and maintenance, and it continues to document Penelope's design and implementation. Our experience also uncovered a number of problems with WEB.

A preliminary version of the full paper is available in PostScript form, or you can get the scanned DjVu form.