1998RE: [jslint] Style
- Feb 28, 2011I have to disagree. If there was a consistent style taught by all and/or
enforced by all, it would be reasonable to apply it universally to all in a
tool we all use. However, since we're still in a land of artisans where
delicately crafted recipes produce works of art, we can't limit matters of
In cases where accurate execution or legibility of intent are in question,
no doubt a standard should be adopted.
In cases where corporate policy or personal preference has created habits
that don't conform but also don't produce side-effects, the style is likely
left to what makes the developer most comfortable and thus most productive.
I'm very glad that JSLint carefully balances this with options such as
"strict whitespace", "disallow ++ and --", "tolerate continue" that allow us
to select our preference for conformity to the proposed styles.
I wish there were more options for this. Resharper's formatting choice
dialogs could be a great template here, though I grant creating an intuitive
single-page interface to that depth is tricky.
Because such options aren't available, I've begun to see competing tools
emerge that fragment this space and confuse the community:
Google Closure Linter
Microsoft Ajax Minifier (http://aspnet.codeplex.com/releases/view/40584)
Ok, I'll concede the last is more about fixing the problems and less about
teaching the developer not to make them.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On
Behalf Of Douglas Crockford
Sent: Monday, February 28, 2011 11:39 AM
Subject: [jslint] Style
The place to express yourself in programming is in the quality of
your ideas, and the efficiency of execution. The role of style is
the same as in literature. A great writer doesn't express himself
by putting the spaces before his commas instead of after, or by
putting extra spaces inside his parentheses. A great writer will
slavishly conform to some rules of style, and that in no way
constrains his power to express himself creatively. See for
example William Strunk's The Elements of Style
I think this applies to programming as well. Conforming to a
consistent style improves readability, and frees you to express
yourself in ways that matter. JSLint here plays the part of a
stern but benevolent editor, helping you to get the style right
so that you can focus your creative energy where it is most needed.
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