Please don't mess with the comma. It's fine just as it is. Readability is
Software Team Leader & Intellectual Property Manager
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From: Ian Joyner <i.joyner@...
Date: 01/04/2012 01:24
Subject: Re: [eiffel_software] Relax constraint for extra comma
Sent by: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Crockford videos I mentioned talk about why programming is a bad place
and the intransigence of programmers to accept better ideas. Real lesson in
it for why Eiffel is not more popular.
but he also warns about the bad parts, and his reason why so many bad parts
intentions. The intention is to save the programmer just a little work,
saving a keystroke here and there, but reducing lack of precision and
introducing all sorts of other problems. The ++ operator itself is one of
the worst he says (and then, he says, a language was named celebrating it!)
In Doug's assessment it saves one keystroke. Some good intention! In return
you get side effects in single statements and code that is difficult to
So many of these good intentions are then used by 'clever' programmers who
think they have got it by learning some little good-intention feature of
A superfluous comma sounds like another good intention. Maybe that's the
problem with Eiffel – it is a language without good intentions!
On 1 Apr 2012, at 00:10, Peter Gummer wrote:
> Berend de Boer wrote:
>> If you never edit code, you won't need this option. I.e. when you
>> write everything perfect from scratch, why would you use this?
>> But if you maintain code, it just handy to have, it's harmless ...
> It's harmful to the legibility of the code.
> Legibility is crucial to maintainability.
>> And you don't have to use it!
> Ah, the good old "you don't have to use it" argument!
> Other programming languages have many features that I never use (e.g.,
overloading). I often hear "You don't have to use it" in defence of those
features. This no defence at all. The very presence of those features in
the language means that I have to be constantly beware that some _other_
programmer might have used them.
> I'm actually perfectly happy to program in many languages other than
Eiffel, as long as I'm programming on my own, because I know that the code
I'm working with never uses overloads, never returns from the middle of
routines, etc., etc. etc. Where those other languages become a problem to
me is when I work with other programmers, because they may (and often do)
use those features that I consider harmful.
> That's the number one reason why I would rather program in Eiffel than in
any other language: the absence of so many harmful features. (Well, maybe
it's my number 2 reason; DbC would be my number 1.)
> The odd trailing comma would be much less harmful than overloading, etc.,
so I wouldn't consider what you've asked for to be the end of the world,
but I'd be irritated whenever I encountered sloppy code like that.
> - Peter Gummer
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