Tuesday, September 23, 2008
E.W. Dijkstra Archive: What led to "Notes on Structured Programming" (EWD1308): "Finally a short story for the record. In 1968, the Communications of the ACM published a text of mine under the title 'The goto statement considered harmful', which in later years would be most frequently referenced, regrettably, however, often by authors who had seen no more of it than its title, which became a cornerstone of my fame by becoming a template: we would see all sorts of articles under the title 'X considered harmful' for almost any X, including one titled 'Dijkstra considered harmful'. But what had happened? I had submitted a paper under the title 'A case against the goto statement', which, in order to speed up its publication, the editor had changed into a 'letter to the Editor', and in the process he had given it a new title of his own invention! The editor was Niklaus Wirth."