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Re: OT: Why is C so popular?



On Wed, 27 Aug 2003 23:52:35 -0600
Jacob Anawalt <jacob@cachevalley.com> wrote:
> Was this code on a Unix system, or did you have one nearby? Did you know 
> about the indent program at the time? (man indent)
 
> It _seems_ to work for me to convert someone elses sytle (or lack of it) 
> in coding C into a format that I like (K&R).

    That's just it, I don't like C indenting any more, period.  It isn't
"someone else's style" that is the problem, it is the fact that it is the
antithesis of how I've grown to like to code.  Lemme put it this way:

C:
if foo
    bar;

Python:
if foo:
    bar

Want to extend it?

Python:
if foo:
    bar
    baz

C:
if foo
    bar;
    baz;

Bzttttt, wrong....

if foo {
    bar;
    baz;
}

    But wait, baz really shouldn't be a part of the if statement!

Python: 
if foo:
    bar
baz

C:
if foo
   bar;
baz;

    No, darn it, only if foo is false, really.

Python:
if foo:
    bar
else:
    baz

C:
if foo
    bar;
else
    baz

Nope...

if foo {
    bar;
}
else {
    baz;
}

    It boils down to this.  In Python if I want something to be in a block, I
smack tab and don't even need to worry about my editor doing the right thing. 
I tell it to set tab stops to 4, save all spaces and how the code is written
is how it will run.  If I need to pull that call out of a block I just delete
space to line up to the previous block.  << or >> or V<, V> or several other
commands in vim work nicely for this.  If I need to add to a block I just tab
over to the right spot and there it is.  

    The main problem with "other people's style" isn't so much a matter of
indenting blocks (any half-assed decent programmer does that to some degree)
it is a matter of block delimiter placement.  Some people prefer to have the
block delimiters separate of the line that starts the block.  Some prefer the
opening on the same line so the closing lines up with the keyword opening the
block.  Some consider else its own block and having it line up with the if
makes sense.  Others consider it a continuation so they slap it onto the end
of the if block.  What have I described?

a:
if cond
{
    block
}
else
{
    block
}

b:
if cond {
    block
}
else {
    block
}

c:
if cond {
    block
} else {
    block
}

    3 different styles.  But remove the damnedable braces and what are you
left with?

if cond
    block
else
    block

    Hence it is not other people's style I dislike, it is the freakin' braces.

-- 
         Steve C. Lamb         | I'm your priest, I'm your shrink, I'm your
       PGP Key: 8B6E99C5       | main connection to the switchboard of souls.
-------------------------------+---------------------------------------------

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