braces in c

utzoo!decvax!minow utzoo!decvax!minow
Mon Oct 25 18:41:28 AEST 1982

Actually, this note is an argument against using pretty-printers --
though one may be helpful when dealing with a total mess that someone
else did.

The Indian Hill style document (posted a few weeks ago to net.sources)
includes the following comments on pretty-printing:

"This committee recommends that programmers not rely on automatic
beautifiers for the following reasons.  First, the main person who
benefits from good program style is the programmer himself.  This
is especially true in the early design of handwritten algorithms or
pseudo-code.  Automatic beautifiers can only be applied to complete,
syntactically correct programs and hence are not available when the
need for attention to white space and indentation is greatest.
It is also felt that programmers can do a better job of making clear
the compilete visual layout of a function or a file with the
normal attention to detail of a careful programmer.... Finally, it
is felt that since beatuifiers are non-trivial programs that must
parse the source, the burden of maintaining it in the face of the
continuing evolution of C is not worth the benefits gained by such
a program."

I would add to this that it is this attention to the small details
of visual style that I would look for when hiring a programmer.
Before I joined Dec, I worked for a company headed by an ex-stenographer.
He wouldn't hire secretaries who couldn't read his dictation and v.v.

Martin Minow

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