Comments on book review (cstyle - (nf)

jab at uokvax.UUCP jab at uokvax.UUCP
Fri Jun 1 13:11:00 AEST 1984

uokvax!jab    May 31 22:11:00 1984

uiucdcs!liberte writes:

Maybe the best solution is to find a style that does work for most people
and the teach the remaining incorrigibles how to live with it.  Most 
aspects of style hardly matter all that much and most people will go along
with whatever is choosen, if it is reasonable.  But at the same time,
it is important to allow the freedom to explore new styles that just 
might be better.  The old innovation vs. standards tradeoff.

/* ---------- */

To which ea!mwm responds:

The trick, of course, is getting people to use the "standard" 
style/methodology (We switched tracks somewhere in there). Given the
horror stories seen here recently, I suspect that getting people to
*teach* a style/methodology will be the hard part.

/* ---------- */

Having never been good at keeping quiet (as Mike well knows), I feel
compelled to add my thirty-six cents. (It takes thirty-six cents to
go as far as two cents used to.)

The suggestion of "define a standard and stick to it" is swell, within
some reason. To define a standard that is supposed to work in all situations
is fool-hardy, and gives us such beasts as PL/I, ADA, and eventually, a
"standard operating system" (shades of OS/360). It's almost as if you expect
all mathematicians to write proofs in the same manner, or might I say, to
produce results that conform to certain styles.

(You wouldn't Ives to have had to rewrite his works to sound more like
Mahler, would you?)

Ladies and gentlemen, we aren't talking about chemical engineering here.
The term "computing science" is as contradictory as "political science".
What you really want is a way to review a program (as well as its internal
and external documentation) while it's being designed, coded, and
tested, so that pain is minimized.

	Jeff Bowles
	Lisle, IL

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