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Re: PG: Hackers and Painters

Okay, I may have exaggerated a bit.  The pair programming idea
actually intrigues me for some kinds of code (as you indicate--the
really gritty stuff).  What I really don't like is when I get a
drive-by bug fix that makes something like:

for(int i = 0; foo(i); i++)

look more like:

for(int i = 0; /* 5/14/03 RGR: hmm.. i think this mite be the right plaece to do this but I'm not really sure */ foo(bar(i)) /* end of change */; i++)

This is based loosely on a real example.  Besides the typos and line
wrap, the presence of the comment is annoying (put a change record
in the version control system marking the change, and contact me
before making it to clear up the uncertainty).

Leaving that as it is will distract me every time I open the file.
The visual flow of the code is disrupted and for some reason that
really bothers me in code that I've written carefully.

To return to the article that prompted all this, some people write
code that is beautiful and artfully subtle (some of the code I've
seen from Ken Shan--a participant on this list--qualifies).  I don't
claim to be at that level, but it still bothers me when someone
leans over my shoulder and splatters paint all over a canvas that
I'm still working on.

- Russ

On Wed, May 14, 2003 at 03:33:55PM -0400, Zachery Bir wrote:
> On Wednesday, May 14, 2003, at 02:40 PM, Russ Ross wrote:
> >I hate it when other people touch my code.  It seems like they
> >always get it wrong.  I always have to go and clean it up again
> >before I can stand to look at it.  Even if I'm not making any
> >changes, I've been known on more than one occasion to check out a
> >file that someone has modified, fix all the formatting, rewrite
> >all the comments, restructure the control flow, and check it
> >back in.
> >
> >By "fix" I mean change it to meet my normal style, not to correct
> >some actual bug.  Even if they get the formatting right (which is
> >surprisingly rare) I'm not content until it looks and feels exactly
> >like my code, both at a casual glance and on a careful read-through.
> So, by fix, you mean, "not really fix"?
> >I agree with Paul on this one--I'm just way too crabby about my own
> >code to cooperate at that level.  I'm like a bitter old man who
> >doesn't think anyone can get anything right and I'm still in my 20s.
> >I pity anyone who has to share code with me in a few years after
> >I've really had a chance to get set in my ways.
> Well, thank goodness you've warned us in advance :)
> We try to embrace XP here at Zope Corp, and it works amazingly well. I 
> haven't yet encountered any territorialist coders. I think that's 
> because we espouse a fundamentally different philosophy towards the 
> code: We don't own the code. Our customers do. Us Communistical Open 
> Sourcers and all...
> Personally, I think the lone wolf cowboy attitude needs a trip through 
> a refactoring browser. But that's me. Perhaps it's a matter of 
> experience. Maybe all my old-timer colleagues would really prefer for 
> the young'ns to just get the hell out.
> Zac