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Re: constant `e'

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: constant `e'
Date: 10 Feb 2007 19:05:20 +0100
Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2007 19:19:45 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

Hi, Daniel!

On Sat, Feb 10, 2007 at 03:33:54PM +0100, Daniel Brockman wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie <address@hidden> writes:

[ .... ]

> > When I see `(not (null n))', it takes extra effort mentally to filter
> > out what, to me, is just noise.

> Hm!  That's interesting.

It's amazing how differently different hackers see things, even here on

> The concept of `non-nil' is very basic to me, so I do not have to
> filter anything out of `(not (null ...))', because it is already
> phrased the way I think about it.

The concept of `non-nil' is so basic to me that I don't see any need to
express it explicitly.  ;-)  

> >> Take a look at this code:

[ .... ]

> > But it feels like I'm being talked down to - the programmer is
> > saying, in effect "you probably don't understand Lisp very well, so
> > I'll make it very very clear".

> I had no idea some people read it like that.

> Do you feel similarily talked down to when you see C code
> like the following?

>    for (node = list->first; node != NULL; node = node->next)
>      process (node);

A little, but not that much.  What gets my goat up is when natural
idiomatic C, something like this:

    while (i--)

has to be recoded, at the behest of company "coding standards", like

    while (CurrentFooIndex > 0)
        CurrentFooIndex-- ;

, supposedly to make it "more readable" and "more maintainable".  Such
coding standards give remarkably little justification for their rules.
They are pretty much always ignored anyway, so they don't do too much
harm.  [By contrast, the GNU coding rules are pretty sensible, if not to
everybody's taste.]

However, I rarely change anything "long-winded" in anybody else's code.
It creates bad feeling for no objective benefit.

> -- 
> Daniel Brockman <address@hidden>

Alan Mackenzie (Ittersbach, Germany).

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