[Tutor] functions--how long is too long?

Luke Paireepinart rabidpoobear at gmail.com
Tue Dec 8 17:14:50 CET 2009

On Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 4:17 AM, spir <denis.spir at free.fr> wrote:

> Luke Paireepinart <rabidpoobear at gmail.com> dixit:
> > I'd say my personal hard-limit for functions before I start refactoring
> is
> > probably around 150-200 lines.  But it's rare that functions get that
> long
> > anyway.
> !
> Aside questions of personal style & taste, _I_ could not hold such long
> funcs. Far too much to manage for my head, about unmaintainable for me.
> My common limit is about one editor screen (~ 35 lines), comments included,
> which reveals not only practicle, but also about what my head is able to
> cope with at once. And my programming style rather leans toward clarity (-->
> low code density), meaning that 1 line of a "smart" coder may map to 2 or 3
> of mine. An absolute limit would be about 2 screens.
> To sum up:
>  150 lines by luke
>  * 2 (density)
>  * 2 (comments)
> = 600 lines by myself

The 150-200 lines was including comments and everything else.  And I just
meant that is the point where I would be forced to refactor.  For shorter
functions that are unclear I would refactor before I got to that many lines.
 But like I said, most functions I write just tend to be naturally much
shorter than that anyway.

I was just trying to point out that there is a point where you are forced to
refactor just because of the size, but before that point, refactoring may
actually make your functions more confusing and harder to follow.  It's a
situational thing, which is why I asked for code originally.
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