deranged mutant gerbils from Dimension X
... would be a great name for a rock band
I've learned the most about quality coding (not algorithms and fancy stuff, per se, just coding in general) from watching others screw up, not neccessarily here, but work, college, etc. You learn about writing maintainable clean code, code that you can understand 2 weeks later, the difference between meaningful and useless comments, etc. Sadly, it seems that many others don't gather this information, since they don't read code with their eyes open ... nor do they think more than a few hours in advance when writing code. These people need to be flogged :)
Also to be stressed is the fine line between idiomatic and transparent. They are not always the same, and given the choice of the two, I'll pick the later. map for instance is sexy, but if I want readability, often foreach takes a few less seconds to skim through, and that is pretty darn important. The alternative, of course, is equally dangerous, which brings me to the following anonymous quote: "Java is readable ... like a phonebook". That is, yep, you can read it ... but due to volume and verbosity, you really can't make any sense of it.
in all, it's all about fine lines and tradeoffs, the "right way" cannot be codified -- ever -- and thus is coding as art -- a Zen state seldom attained in purely mechanistic cube farm engineering -- the drones will attempt to list style rules, but they'll never understand the why of the style, nor will they know when to break with the rules.
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