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Rick Duley <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 11 Sep 2003 11:26:16 +0800
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Hi All

Well, one little letter stirred up quite a conversation.  That's great -
TEAM_ADA has been quiet for a while :(

My thanks to all those who responded.  I think Roger Racine hit the nail on
the head with his list of heuristics for shifting the lines to the left.

Perhaps I should say what spurred my inquiry:

I have found once I started writing verbose code that my debugging time
evaporated almost completely.  When I do get bugs these days they tend to
be quick and easy to find.  I think it has to do with the verbose format
forcing me to think carefully about each step I am taking while I write code.

For the record, I use the 'use' clause for the standard libraries and my
own 'toolbox' libraries.  Packages I write in support of applications are
addressed in full.  Parameters are always named.

I have insisted on this in teaching introductory programming because it
makes tracing what the students write much easier - and _they_ don't spend
forever debugging either!  However, once you insist on this you run into
the problem of word-wrap when the code is printed.  That's why I have to
find useable ways of keeping code inside the 70-character width limit
(which permits numbering in list files).

Once the students know it's pointless whinging about the extra typing (they
usually need the practice anyway ;) it works okay.  Anyone else tried it?

Keep the faith



--------------------------------------------
Rick Duley
School of Engineering Science
Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia
http://eng.murdoch.edu.au/~rick
o'seas : +61 40 910 6049     .-_|\
aussie :    040 910 6049    /     \
                        perth*_.-._/
"'Try' not.                      v
    Do, or do not.
       There is no such thing as 'Try'"
                         (Yoda, Star Wars VI)

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