[erlang-questions] Reassigning variables

Michael Radford <>
Thu Mar 19 17:38:21 CET 2009


I totally agree about readability, but I think we need to distinguish
"readable" code from "elegant" (or aesthetically pleasing) code.

It's similar to the difference between newspaper writing vs. writing a
novel, or poetry.  Most of the time, commercial software should be more
like the former -- state the facts in a way that most people can
understand easily, and get out of the way.  Occasionally, this sort of
code might turn out to be elegant, but that's not the primary goal.

I think that might have been what Camille was getting at.

Mike

Robert Lally writes:
> I subscribe to the school of thought that code is written primarily for
> people to read. It also has to compile, but that's a secondary
> consideration.
> Readability is directly proportional to the cost of maintaining software. In
> a commercial environment readability is vital. In fact, only those with no
> commercial constraints can afford to support read-only software.
> 
> I'm not suggesting that all commercial companies live up to this ideal. But
> those that don't pay a premium for their mistake.
> 
> 
> Rob Lally.
> 
> 
> 2009/3/19 mats cronqvist <>
> 
> > Camille Troillard <> writes:
> >
> > > I find interesting (or curious) how people want to reach aesthetically
> > > pleasant code to read. No offense, really, it's just that I don't think
> > it
> > > leads anywhere useful.
> >
> >   I find it interesting that readability is regarded as something only
> > pointy-headed academics are interested in, and uninteresting in the
> > real world of commercial software.
> >
> >  In my experience, code that is not "aesthetically pleasant" is
> > guaranteed to have this property; only its author can find the bugs.
> >
> >  This is of course not a problem for a hobbyist, or perhaps even a
> > compiler writer. But it is the mother of bad software products.
> >
> >  mats
> > _______________________________________________
> > erlang-questions mailing list
> > 
> > http://www.erlang.org/mailman/listinfo/erlang-questions
> >
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Blog : http://robertlally.com

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