Short and simple functions (was: Re: Dr. Dobb's Python-URL! - weekly Python news and links (May 22))

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at
Tue May 23 08:36:51 CEST 2006

"Andy Salnikov" <a_salnikov at> writes:

> "Peter Otten" <python-url at> wrote in message 
> news:e4sma5$msm$1 at
> > QOTW: "It's hard to make a mistake by having too many short and simple
> > functions. And much too easy to make them when you have too few ;-)"
> > - Thomas Bartkus
> >
>   And of course there is a mathematical proof of that provided
> somewhere, isn't it? :)
>   "Too many" is always opposite to "hard to make a mistake", at least
> in my mind.

I parsed the assertion as:

  (It's hard to
    (make a mistake
      (by having
        (too many
          (short and simple)

In other words, it's not that he's saying "having too many short and
simple functions" is difficult, nor that it's not a mistake; he's
saying that it's difficult to get into a situation where that is the
cause of one's mistake.

 \          "I got an answering machine for my phone. Now when someone |
  `\      calls me up and I'm not home, they get a recording of a busy |
_o__)                                       signal."  -- Steven Wright |
Ben Finney

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