Parameter names - bug 155628

Christopher Hicks chicks at
Sat Dec 18 17:59:24 UTC 2004

On Fri, 17 Dec 2004, Shane H. W. Travis wrote:
> On Fri, 17 Dec 2004, Gervase Markham wrote:
>> No, you aren't :-)
> Yes, I am, Gerv.

Its time for developer wrestling to work out agression.

> I cannot believe the hubris.

Then you haven't managed many programmers.

> If I thought I could get away with re-indenting the entirety of the code 
> base to match an agreed-on style, I'd do it... but I expect that the hue 
> and cry against such a widespread change for 'such minimal gain' would 
> be... well... would be much like this one has started out being. Are you 
> going to tell me that you'd support such an initiative?

I'd take it implicitly that he supports such an initiative.  If he doesn't 
then his comments in this thread are total smoke and mirrors.

I've used perltidy on several occassions to take nasty code written by 
.gov folk that should never have been trusted with a programmer's 
keyboard.  It can make life a lot easier and it can provide us a common 
language for saying that we want code to conform to these perltidy 
options.  I'm not fond of these sorts of rules being hard and fast because 
there are cases where breaking the rules can make code easier to follow, 
but if they're guidelines that are gently encouraged I expect that most 
folks won't mind following them.

>> But anyway, if we want to spend time trying to look good,
> What's this 'we'? Are you offering to help fix this bug? Speaking on my
> behalf? Or do you just have a mouse in your pocket? :-)

I think the point here is more than trying to look good.  I think the 
point is in making it easier for customizers to follow what's going on. 
While native English speakers may have no trouble with 
wordscrammedtogetheradinfinitum it isn't nearly as easy if its not in a 
language you're fluent in.  While I'd bark at anybody that tried to 
mandate such a thing for every variable name, doing so for CGI parameters 
on an international project seems like a very good idea upon a little 

>> I suggest this is not the best way to be spending it.
> [...] Not everyone in the world is Gerv! (thank Ghu...) [...] Hyperbole 
> aside,

But the hyperbole is very entertaining.  :)

> But don't presume that you know me, or my motivations -- even if you try 
> to make it less offensive by putting a smiley at the end, and especially 
> not when my actions have already put the lie to your words.

I sympathise with your frustrations here, but I also think you're taking 
this too personally.  Letting folks vent their spleen when necessary is a 
good idea, but if this turns into a personal flame war its not beneficial 
to either of you or the project.


"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
  soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)

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