brace wars

utzoo!henry utzoo!henry
Thu Oct 28 21:32:50 AEST 1982

Good Ghod.  Here I go and not read netnews for a week, and there's this
appalling deluge of people saying why they love/hate assorted brace
styles...  Well, my own history is a bit more complicated.  Once upon
a time, I had my own preference in brace styles.  I thought it was a
lot better than the one KLT/DMR generally used.  I even had some arguments
to back this up.

Then I put V7 up here, and had to do a *lot* of digging around in and
modifying KLT/DMR code.  This influenced my opinions considerably.
I now use that style to the exclusion of any other, except when I am
modifying something written in another style.

Aha, cry the advocates of other brace styles!  He overdosed on that
icky brace style and burned out his cerebral lobes!  Not so.  I simply
came to a fairly obvious conclusion:  one brace style is better than
two.  And if you are working with existing Unix code, you are *stuck*
with the KLT/DMR style.  The only thing worse than a bad paragraphing
style is mixed paragraphing styles.  Consistency is much more important
than ultimate maximum beauty.

Which is why I put a considerable effort into a C style standard that
uses that style, even though I tend to agree it's not optimal.  It's
what we've got, folks, and it will not go away.

						Henry Spencer
						U of Toronto

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