Compare source code

Seebs usenet-nospam at
Wed Nov 3 02:20:16 CET 2010

On 2010-11-02, D'Arcy J.M. Cain <darcy at> wrote:
> "Large" is no excuse for incompetency.

It is in practice.

> So configure it to recognize Python files and act accordingly.

So far as I know, it doesn't have a feature to do this.  In any event,
I work around it okay.

>> No, they aren't.  See... That would work *if I knew for sure what the intent
>> was*.
>> 	if foo:
>> 	    bar
>> 	else:
>> 	    baz
>> 	    quux
>> Does it look right?  We have *no idea*, because we don't actually know
>> whether quux was *intended* to be in the else branch or whether that's a typo.

> And C has the same problem.

Not quite!

>     if (foo)
>         bar;
>     else
>         baz;
>         quux;

> Is quux meant to be part of the else clause?  The writer's indentation
> suggests "yes" but the code says "no".


And that's the thing:  In C, I know there's something wrong here.  I may not
know what it is, but I know *something* is wrong.

> Same is true for the C code.

Pretty much!

> In both cases you can tell what the code
> will do (modulo weird macros in the C code) but the intention is
> impossible to determine without mind reading abilities in both cases.
> We do know that the Python code *appears* to be doing exactly what the
> author intended and the C code *appears* to not be.

Yes.  And in my experience, that means that since the code must be
wrong (or I wouldn't be looking at it), it's very nice that in one of
them, I've just been told for sure that the writer was confused right
here at this line.  In the other, I have no way of knowing that the
writer was confused.

What was it someone once said?  "Explicit is better than implicit."

I *like* my parity bits.

Copyright 2010, all wrongs reversed.  Peter Seebach / usenet-nospam at <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures <-- get educated!
I am not speaking for my employer, although they do rent some of my opinions.

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