python vs perl lines of code

John Bokma john at
Fri May 19 23:09:35 CEST 2006

"akameswaran at" <akameswaran at> wrote:

> John Bokma wrote:
>> "akameswaran at" <akameswaran at> wrote:
>> > But if a 1 person, using 1 language, with the same set of tools
>> > withing a 3 month period implements the same algo without bugs -
>> > I'll bet you the shorter one was theone written second.
>> You might lose that bet very often. I see often that additional
>> checks are added to algorithms to handle special cases overlooked, or
>> documentation added because a co-worker had problems with the
>> notation. 
> I am not the one generalizing my statement.  Adding the things above,
> does not count as implementing the same thing.  It would implementing
> a new thing.  And what you describe could be just be more bloat - not
> indicating quality.

Yes, like the shorter version might be overlooking many real world 
situations and is naive code. As for generalization, if you bet that the 
shorter one is later written, that's to me a generalization. I agree that 
there is a change that after reexamining the code, and algorithm can be 
written shorter, but I have also seen algorithms refactored for better 

> Two points here.  I have since the beginning stating a HYPOTHESIS - a
> theory.  One which my experince leads me think MIGHT be true.

Enough to bet on it ;-)

>> Yup, and this is exactly what frightens me the whole time in this
>> thread. People looking for quality rules based on line count. It's
>> wrong. 
> Please note my original hypothesis was maintainability - not quality!

Aren't those closely related?

> important important distinction - and one I may have muddles myself as
> I got drawn into the conversation.
> And what frightens me are people who are so dogmatically convinced
> becasue of their long 10 years of experience - that they know exactly
> what does and doesn't matter, and have no intellectual curiosity
> anymore.  There are no objective tests for maintainability that I am
> aware of.

Because it depends a lot on the skill level of the maintainer. By just 
counting lines and characters you can't measure quality IMO. It's a naive 
way of measuring and it reminds me of the early days of search engines.

And if you mistake understanding that it's not a good way to measure 
things as having no intellectual curiosity, you're again mistaken.

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