On Sun, Apr 19, 2020 at 06:06:50PM +0200, Alex Hall wrote:
function(*, dunder, invert, private, meta, ignorecase)
No reader will ever have to think about the difference. They will simply see the second version and know which arguments are being passed.
I seem to be immune to this magical knowledge.
Sorry, what? How is there any doubt that the arguments being passed are dunder, invert, private, meta, and ignorecase? They're right there.
That tells us the meaning of the arguments in the *caller's* context.
It doesn't tell us the meaning of the arguments in the *callee's* context, which is critical information. There is a huge difference between these:
process_files(delete=obsolete_files, archive=irrelevent_files) process_files(archive=obsolete_files, delete=irrelevent_files)
even though both calls receive the same arguments, so it is critical to know the callee's context, i.e. the parameters those arguments get bound to.
Now, which parameters those arguments are bound to is less obvious, but:
- When you read the function call, you're thinking about the arguments,
not the parameters. You can see which information goes into the function, and the first question you should ask yourself is 'is that the right information?'.
And the only way to know that is to think about the parameters. I trust that you will agree that we should care about the difference between (let's say):
pow(8, 2) # 64 pow(2, 8) # 256
and that it's critical to match the arguments to the parameters in the right order or you will get the wrong answer.
I can't tell you how many times I messed up list.insert() calls because I got the arguments in the wrong order.
So for the reader who doesn't know what this star argument `*` does, it is not enough for them to say "Oh that's fine then, we're passing the right arguments, it doesn't matter what parameters they get matched to". The parameters are absolutely critical.