--1926193751-74017651-1235056923	424
Content-Type: MULTIPART/MIXED; BOUNDARY="1926193751-74017651-1235056923=:9424"

  This message is in MIME format.  The first part should be readable text,
  while the remaining parts are likely unreadable without MIME-aware tools.

--1926193751-74017651-1235056923	424
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8BIT

Hi --

On Thu, 19 Feb 2009, Juan Zanos wrote:

>
> On 18 fr. 09, at 18:43, Bill Kelly wrote:
>
>> 
>> From: "James Britt" <james.britt / gmail.com>
>>> 
>>> I have my own preference, and have so far found arguments to the contrary 
>>> unsatisfying because they are usually based on previous use of parens in 
>>> other languages.    (The most interesting suggestion I've heard is to use 
>>> the parens to indicate if the return value of the method is useful or not. 
>>> That is, whether a  method is intended as a statement or an expression.)
>>> I'm truly puzzled when people get their back up at the suggestion that 
>>> their style preference is based on bias obtained from previous exposure to 
>>> other language, conscious or not.  I don't think too many people are 
>>> deliberately thinking, "I want to make this look like [C|Java|Perl|PHP]", 
>>> but surely there is *some* bias based on experience.
>> 
>> I agree there is some bias based on experience, as I went through
>> a phase about 18 years ago as a C programmer, deliberately
>> memorizing the operator precedence table and taking small delight
>> in being able to write expressions devoid of any parens except
>> those strictly necessary to the parser.
>> 
>> Note, also, that my first language was Forth, which I programmed
>> in for seven years--initially as a hobbyist, then professionally--
>> before I learned C.
>> 
>> Forth doesn't need parens for anything... ( they're comment delims. )
>> 
>> However, I'm not sure my Forth experience played a role in my
>> temporary dalliance with extreme paren minimalism in C.  At the
>> time, I felt memorizing the operator precedence table and making
>> use of that knowledge by minimizing use of parens was sort of a
>> natural course to take for someone intent on mastering the
>> language.
>> 
>> Eventually one of my co-workers told me he had trouble reading
>> my code.  Initially my (private) reaction was, this guy isn't
>> serious about his craft!  He really ought to learn the language.
>> 
>> Thankfully I got past that phase eventually.
>> 
>> My current bias based on experience is that when reading code,
>> my brain does frequently prefer more parens than are strictly
>> necessary to the parser.
>
> One of the things that confuses this discussion is that some people are 
> talking about the use of parentheses with regard to operator precedence rules 
> and others are discussing far more arbitrary and questionable usages such as 
> in declaring and calling functions.   I think it's telling that such a 
> seemingly minor complexity is cause for confusion.

I don't think there's any confusion, just (rather trivially, in the
overall scheme of things) different practices.


David

-- 
David A. Black / Ruby Power and Light, LLC
Ruby/Rails consulting & training: http://www.rubypal.com
Coming in 2009: The Well-Grounded Rubyist (http://manning.com/black2)

Ruby Training Atlanta! April 1-3, http://www.entp.com/training/atlanta09
--1926193751-74017651-1235056923	424--
--1926193751-74017651-1235056923	424--