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environment idiom
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Date: 2004-12-12 (00:21)
From: Jacques Carette <carette@m...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] environment idiom
skaller <> wrote:
> The principle is quite general, exceeding not only C++/Ocaml,
> but applying way beyond programming.  I actually learned
> this idea, that one should think about how a code base
> will cope with change, in a superb book on Cobol programming.

This idea is indeed quite old.  It is generally credited to David Parnas -- see 
which refers to
On the Criteria To Be Used in Decomposing Systems into Modules
D.L. Parnas, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 15, No. 12, December 1972 pp. 1053 - 1058

It is the paper that introduces "information hiding" (not to be confused with the much more restricted idea of 'data 
hiding' common to OO languages) as well as the design-for-change principle.

Sadly, the OO craze has so warped the idea of "information hiding" amongst practitioners that few actually understand 
how groundbreaking this sweeping idea really was, and still is.