python vs perl lines of code

akameswaran at akameswaran at
Fri May 19 22:58:38 CEST 2006

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.

> I rarely see my scripts shrink, they often grow. The only time they shrink
> is when I factor one or more modules out of it :-)
> > The fact that you many ppl will state the shorter line count of
> > rewrites is a sign of improving skill
> I disaprove if you want to make it a general rule. I have seen too many
> exceptions.

Two points here.  I have since the beginning stating a HYPOTHESIS - a
theory.  One which my experince leads me think MIGHT be true.  I am
much more interested in figuring out a way to validly compare line
counts (a distinct challenge in itself)  Then we might be able to test
the hypothesis.  Two -I am not trying to declare an absolute rule.
Would I advocate someone think about line count when implementing?  No.
 Do I think there might be some useful analysis of code that includes
line count and char count - yes.  Is it proven - no.

> > So while far from conclusive, the fact that I find my code gets
> > shorter the second time - and it is usually done more skillfully, it
> > seems there is a correlation of some sort between lines of code and
> > quality.
> 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!
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.  So neither of us is arguing from a position of evidence -
just experience.

More information about the Python-list mailing list