[erlang-questions] Spec is diabolical IMHO

Mike Oxford <>
Thu Sep 27 21:20:16 CEST 2012


I'm in the "I like C/C++ .h files," just like I like the concept of IDL
files.

I can very quickly scan through the file (just like Erlang -export areas)
and see what's available and the parameters.
Otherwise you're either bogged down going through the code or relying on a
secondary toolpass to generate documentation which then has to be hosted
somewhere.

"What was the exact parameter list?"
"Hold on, let me fire up a browser to get to the file/site."
"Nevermind, I just opened up the header and I got it."

Headers have downsides, to be sure, but they have a very nice usage pattern
for figuring out WTF this object is, what it appears to do and maybe how it
plays into the overall architecture of the system.

Also, I can grep a header dir and not get slammed with a wall of
implementation crap.

-mox

On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 11:50 AM, Raoul Duke <> wrote:

> On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 11:24 AM,  <> wrote:
> >> ah, yes, bring back c/++ style .h files and all their glory! ;-)
> > And I thought ".sig" would be recognized as obvious reference to
> > Standard ML... :-)
>
> i missed that, since i haven't had the good fortune of using SML for
> nigh 20 years now, and have only rarely done anything related like
> ocaml or f# or whatever else. more is the pity, sucks to be me.
>
> but look at it this way: some people, when faced with the problem of
> having a single source file that has embedded metadata (be it user
> docs or type annotations or whatever), say, "i know! i'll split it
> into 2 files!" of course, now they are faced with /two/ problems.
> that's why e.g. java tried to get away from that, and the go language
> was invented.
>
> i'm not saying 1 vs. 2 files has a clear best answer for everybody,
> just that both choices have problems. in the end, this feels to me
> like yet another concrete example of why 99.five9s% of our development
> ides are stupid crap that don't really help with the real problems. we
> should not have to worry what files they are in or if we do/not have
> to see them, the ide should magically take care of all that. but
> that's a pipe dream of course these days.
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