Tuesday Oct 21, 2008

Who am I writing this for?

I'm working with a new code base and a new build process for a small project I am working on. The project makes use of the 'jstyle' code style checker tool. I've been running seriously afoul of it's rules by having the timidity to leave extra whitespace at the end of lines and add extra whitespace in expressions.

I've complained before about overly rigorous coding standards but the "remove your extra whitespace" insistence is driving me nuts. I'm sorry, I just don't care. My editor puts in whitespace to make aligning text easier. I can't see whitespace and I normally don't scour my source to make sure that my editor hasn't added any. Since the compiler doesn't care, why complain about it? (I also happen to like using "flowed" format for Javadoc with the hope someday that my text editor will free me from having to do line wrapping manually within documentation comments).

There's a lot of stuff that just doesn't matter. There's a limit to how much "extra" energy people have for "doing the right thing". Being pedantic about minor issues depletes that energy without accomplishing much.

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mduigou

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