“((I) parenthesize (like (crazy))) and (have (never (regretted it))),” he said bluntly, compulsively counting the left and right parentheses in his statement to be sure that they were evenly matched.
“(They (cost me) nothing) and (remove (all doubt)).”
What matters ... truly the only thing that really matters ... is clarity. Anyone and everyone who looks at a line of source-code needs to be able to know, without a shred of doubt or ambiguity, what that line of source will mean to the computer. A few well-placed parentheses, as well as newlines and white-space, will help tremendously in comprehension by the humans (including yourself) who will one day “parse” the code. The cost of any mis-understanding can be huge... both in time and in real money.
I vividly remember the “programming puzzlers” that used to be put out in magazines like Dr. Dobb's by the purveyors of a certain debugging system. The objective was to read a line of cryptic code and to interpret what it actually meant. I found myself thinking, “gee, I wouldn't want to have to write 50,000 lines of real production software in that language!” (Of course, “that language” was C, and therefore of course this was what I did do for a living, but it really rammed-home the importance of simplicity and clarity.) The computer does not care, but humans (like you) do.
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