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Re: Use of 'our' considered harmful

by tomhukins (Curate)
on Sep 27, 2004 at 21:32 UTC ( #394364=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Use of 'our' considered harmful

Your comments remind of Avoid fancy words, an idea expressed in Strunk and White's Elements of Style. I wouldn't be the first programmer to suggest this book helps us think about how we program, even though it discussed writing in a natural language - English - as opposed to a programming language.

Why use clever terminology when plain words suffice? For Perl, our stands out as a neologism. In time it will become an established part of the language. But it isn't there yet, at least not for all Perl users. It's a matter of judgement, or ear as Strunk and White put it:

Only the writer whose ear is reliable is in a position to use bad grammar deliberately; only he is able to sustain his work at the level of good taste.

Whether we use our, or other neologisms in Perl, is a matter of taste and timing. At present, both are contentious: our has existed in Perl long enough for common use, but too short for universal acceptance. I avoid it in public code for the reasons you mention, but those reasons become weaker as time passes.

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[marto]: Eily, there's actually a lot of good discussion on the topic in the HN link choroba posted
[marto]: sorry for the late response, busy busy :/
[Corion]: I think you need to load Readline in the debugger, but I don't know how
[Corion]: Yay, invitation for a team-building workshop, with a team of 100 people :-/
[Eily]: marto after an additional read I started to see the light actually. And choroba's link was helpful as well :)
[Corion]: I'll send my colleague who doesn't yet know the people there, and I'll do production duty instead.

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