Actually, I can speak to the bit about “a musician” with respect to, “at a glance.”
When you are scoring a piece of music, especially for performance by a union-scale studio musician, then there are definitely a set of visual standards that the copyist must adhere to. These very highly-paid individuals look at music all day long and for the most part they are able to “sight read” it, be-cause (in addition to their dazzling musical skills) they know in advance what to expect. If your score doesn’t meet the accepted norms, it will slow them down (and, probably, piss them off, along with the conductor), and either way, that costs money. The clock is running.
So, yeah ... and without trying to piss anyone here off, by the way ... I’ll stick by my point. When people have looked at enough code, at a particular “shop,” they do build up a set of expectations concerning the next piece of source code that they will look at. They might not read that source-code thoroughly. If they make an error, it is possible that a syntax-error (“crash”) will not be generated. When that unfavorable alignment of the planets occurs (and, from time to time, it will), precious hair follicles will be emptied quickly.
Hence, “style” is a serious concern in day-to-day practice, if for purely human reasons. The computer really does not care too much either way. But avoidable and expensive mistakes will occur when this is neglected.
And actually, BrowserUK, I think that this is really what you are saying, too. You have very definite expectations, e.g. “a complete thought on a single page.” Adherence to those principles is very important to you, and your arguments cannot be denied. It would be very important, then, that all of the code that you see should be written consistently with those principles ... whether you or any of your co-workers actually wrote it. Deviation from what is, to you, in your shop, your “accepted norm,” disrupts you and greatly increases the probability of error (not to mention “pissed off”). You are right. I would not disagree with you. Everyone, I think, comes to feel that way, even though the “accepted norms” may vary considerably from one shop to the next. We do an exacting, high-pressure, error-prone job. Details matter greatly. “Variety” is not wanted.
“Because it matters to the Romans, that’s why. (They’re the really big fellows with the really big, sharp swords.)”
In reply to Re: A matter of style: how to perform a simple action based on a simple condition?