AT&T 7300 C Compiler/variable name lengths

rim at lems.UUCP rim at lems.UUCP
Sun Apr 14 03:41:11 AEST 1985

From: rim (Roderick McAllery)

> .... In general I have found
> that using only 7 character names is safest, ie. guarantees uniqness. 
> ...Personally, I would stick to a maximum of 7 chars for a variable
> name. I find long names very annoying and subject to typos. Yes this means
> more cryptic names, but the solution is to put COMMENTS in your C code.

Personally I would rather have clarity than trying to decipher someones cute 
little acronyms if I had to maintain a piece of code.  

This is one user of C compilers that gets very annoyed at the brain damaged 
attitude of people who write assemblers that only accept 8 character 

It seems that the 7300 is just another machine that has old type software 
shuffled onto it.  Assemblers written for systems with large address spaces
that have symbol tables that cannot handle long identifiers exemplify
an attitude that dates back to a time before people were interested
in software engineering.

Not having used the 7300 I have not had the displeasure to use the assembler 
in question.  However on the basis of its inability to handle long identifiers 
it seems clear that the persons who were/are responsible for that assembler 
showed a lack of understanding in designing software that is not restrictive 
to the user.

There is no great trick or mystery in accepting arbitarily long identifiers
so why the restriction, especially on AT&T's new 'IBM killer'?

USnail: Roderick McAllery
	P.O Box 1216
	Brown University
	Providence 02912
	Rhode Island

usenet: {decvax,vax135,allegra}!brunix!lems!rim

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