Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 15th Jan 2013 21:24 UTC
General Development "I was really excited to write this article, because it gave me an excuse to really think about what beautiful code is. I still don't think I know, and maybe it's entirely subjective. I do think the two biggest things, for me at least, are stylistic indenting and maximum const-ness. A lot of the stylistic choices are definitely my personal preferences, and I'm sure other programmers will have different opinions. I think the choice of what style to use is up to whoever has to read and write the code, but I certainly think it's something worth thinking about. I would suggest everyone look at the Doom 3 source code because I think it exemplifies beautiful code, as a complete package: from system design down to how to tab space the characters." John Carmack himself replies in the comments.
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RE[3]: Good article
by henderson101 on Wed 16th Jan 2013 12:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good article"
henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

I use both punctuation (C) and verbose (ADA) languages and tolerate both well.


With ADA (83) we always had a "BEGIN" and an "END xxxx;" for all constructs, save possibly the "REPEAT... UNTIL ...", though it's been a good 20 years since I did any ADA and I don't remember it well. Same with Pascal (Object Pascal; Delphi.) With VB you don't. You get this:


If X Is Nothing Then
Something
Somethingelse
Elseif Blah = "Give up" Then
Somemore
Else
ShootYourself(DateTime.Now)
End If


Compare that to the C#


if (X == Null)
{
Something();
Somethingelse();
}
else if (Blah == "Give up")
{
Somemore();
}
else
{
ShootYourself(DateTime.Now);
}


Or Pascal


if (X <> Nil) Then //Or is it "X is nil"? I forget
begin
Something();
Somethingelse();
end
else if (Blah = 'Give up') Then
begin
Somemore();
end
else
begin
ShootYourself(DateTime.Now);
end;


The beauty Pascal is that the entire If is one statement with compounds, the beauty of the C# is that it is not (really.) Both have advantages.

EDIT: remembering to add the actual point: The blocks make it easy to see what belongs where, where as with VB and other non block delimited languages, it's all about context.

The solution is a syntax colouring editor with very different colours for keywords and plain identifiers (not black and dark blue...)

The begin/end stuff becomes colorful patches surrounding black code.


Yeah, that's kind of okay. But again, when the code spans 3 or 4 screens (bad coding practice, horrible to maintain) it's more about refactoring to a sane state initially. Syntax highlighting has come a long way. The first editor I used on a daily basis was Delphi 1 and the syntax highlighting was very simple and the code insight did not exist. You had to actually know what to type - a skill lost by many recent CS graduates.

Edited 2013-01-16 12:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Good article
by henderson101 on Wed 16th Jan 2013 12:37 in reply to "RE[3]: Good article"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

More over


If X IsNot Nothing Then
Something
Somethingelse
Else
If Blah = "Give up" Then
Some more

Else
ShootYourself(DateTime.Now)
End If
End If


It's not hard before the lack of blocks starts to make the language unreadable and easy to misinterpret.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Good article
by Laurence on Wed 16th Jan 2013 13:53 in reply to "RE[3]: Good article"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Compare that to the C#...


That's badly formatted C#

I prefer the following:
if (X == Null) {
    Something();
    Somethingelse();
} else if (Blah == "Give up") {
    Somemore();
} else {
    ShootYourself(DateTime.Now);
}


In my opinion that is significantly more readable than any of the other examples you've listed.

Sometimes I concatenate the lines further:
if (X == Null) {
    Something();
    Somethingelse();
}
else if (Blah == "Give up") { Somemore(); }
else { ShootYourself(DateTime.Now); }

(this isn't the best of examples (and not helped by the formatting on OSNews), even I wouldn't concatenate specifically here, but sometimes it does aid readability.

edit:
The beauty Pascal is that the entire If is one statement with compounds, the beauty of the C# is that it is not (really.) Both have advantages.

You can use blocks in C-derived languages as well:

{
    if (X == Null) {
        Something();
        Somethingelse();
    } else if (Blah == "Give up") {
        Somemore();
    } else {
        ShootYourself(DateTime .Now);
    }
}


Edited 2013-01-16 14:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Good article
by lucas_maximus on Wed 16th Jan 2013 14:01 in reply to "RE[4]: Good article"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Actually apart from the lack of indentation it was correct. The Visual Studio default and the Microsoft Recommended Coding conventions all use that style.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/brada/archive/2005/01/26/361363.aspx

Open braces should always be at the beginning of the line after the statement that begins the block. Contents of the brace should be indented by 4 spaces.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Good article
by henderson101 on Wed 16th Jan 2013 16:14 in reply to "RE[4]: Good article"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

"
Compare that to the C#...


That's badly formatted C#
"

Your opinion, and bear in mind, OSNews lost my indentation. To me, your code looks suboptimal for readability. I work in a large team, other people picking up classes and libraries I've written is essential. Standard style guides and conformity saves a lot of time and prevents prima donnas. Plus, having come from Pascal, those arguments just waste too much time. Suffice to say:

Lazy programmeritis:

if (x = y) then begin
   .....
end else begin
   ....
end;

I once had a co worker that used this one:

if (x = y) then
  begin
    ...
  end
  else
    begin
    end;

And this one:

if (x = y) then
  begin
  .....
  end
else
  begin
  ......
  end;

Borland style:

if (x=y) then
begin
  ...
end;



And that is just scratching the surface and not even dealing with tabs, etc. It's a holy war, not worth winging about.

For C#, the basic layout I use (and enforce here) is based on the standard Microsoft use in all of their sample code. Sorry if you don't like that, complain to someone who has write access to Microsoft's source repository ;-) Visual Studio also usefully formats this way - why fight the IDE?



if ( X == Null )
{
  Something();
  Somethingelse();
}
else if ( Blah == "Give up" )
{
  Somemore();
}
else
{
  ShootYourself( DateTime.Now );
}



I never use tabs, they are evil. I use 2 spaces for "Tabstop" because otherwise your code shoots off to the right at great speed. I would go for simple over terse single line every time. I tend to (recently) add in extra space in if/else if/method params. This is just a concession to a speed reading on a high res monitor. Text scans better.

You can use blocks in C-derived languages as well


Not exactly the same thing. In Pascal this is one statement:

if (x = y) then dosomthing else dosomthingelse(y);

and so is this:

if (x = y) then begin dosomthing; end else dosomthingelse(y);

and so is this:

if (x = y) then begin dosomthing; doanotherthing(x); end else begin dosomthingelse(y); end;


dosomething and dosomethingelse(..) are compound, as are the other examples. Like I said, the C syntax is sort of similar, but not exactly. Pascal thinks of the compounds as being part of a single statement, with compound elements. Where as C doesn't (IIRC.) The braces in C are just a way to create a block and the if/else links those blocks together. Semantics, I know. But look again at the basic Pascal version:

if (x = y) then dosomthing else dosomthingelse(y);

That is a pure statement, with no semicolon after the first clause. Geddit? :-) C would require 2 statements linking the blocks:

if (x==y) dosomething(); else dosomthingelse(y);

Reply Parent Score: 2