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Re^6: perltidy IF continuation indentation

by TheDamian (Priest)
on Oct 06, 2005 at 23:02 UTC ( #498081=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^5: perltidy IF continuation indentation
in thread perltidy IF continuation indentation

So... I'm curious... are people downvoting this node...simply because I refuse to idolize PBP and its illustrious author?

Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but I certainly didn't downvote you because you refuse to idolize me or my book. I'm actually rather grateful to you for that.

I wouldn't have downvoted the node at all, or even commented on it, except for your update, in which--although you freely admit you haven't actually read the book--you still choose to dismiss it with a snide:

"fine if you are just dropping sheaves of code from the top of your ivory tower"

I don't consider that informed or constructive criticism, but that alone would still not be sufficient reason to downvote your node.

The real problem is that ad hominem rhetorical manipulations of that kind are not in the true Perl Monks spirit, and undermine the sense of generosity, honesty, and mutual support that make this community so very special.

To paraphrase Burke: "All that is necessary for cynicism and negativty to flourish is for good Monks to do nothing." That's why I downvoted your node.

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Re^7: perltidy IF continuation indentation
by sauoq (Abbot) on Oct 07, 2005 at 04:06 UTC

    Ah, well, at least you said why. I do appreciate that.

    Before I explain further, I would like you to know that I didn't really mean to attack you personally with the "ivory tower" comment but I can certainly see how it could seem that way. I'll try to clarify that in a moment...

    I'm sure it's obvious to you that, when I wrote that, I hadn't yet read the preface to PBP. That changed this evening when, after taking the family out for pizza, we all wandered into a nearby bookstore and I gave your book a little more attention than I did in my initial skimming. Funny choice of words that "ivory tower" phrase, huh? Yum... Toe jam.

    Anyway, I said I'd explain what I meant so I will. I didn't actually intend to single you out with the "dropping sheaves" comment, but meant to convey that if the bulk of one's development took place in isolation, without pre-existing coding standards (and lots of pre-existing code) then the wholesale adoption of the practices you set forth in PBP would, in fact, be fine. Otherwise, one would have to take many other things into consideration before adopting those practices. And, my last comment about not naming the book Perl Pretty Good Practices was meant to convey that I felt sure you knew that, despite the book's absolute sounding name.

    In retrospect, it's obvious that my choice to be abrasive didn't mix at all well with a serious sentiment and that touch of facetiousness. I not only expressed my thoughts poorly, but as a nasty little bonus you, quite naturally, felt attacked.

    So, I'm sorry. Please accept my apology.

    Oh, one last thing... I've thought some about why I chose to be abrasive. There are two reasons. For one, I was really perplexed over why this little subthread was attracting downvotes at all. I was frustrated with it because, well, I usually know why when my nodes go negative and I couldn't figure it out. I know that happens, but I let it get the better of me. (Shame on me.) The second reason is hazier, but it sort of boils down to being irritated with this nagging feeling that buying your book is almost obligatory. It seems as if it has already been pretty successful (congrats, btw) and has seen wide-spread acceptance. The OP being a case in point. And I almost feel as if I have to buy your book if I don't want to be left out of the loop just because it's likely to have a real impact on the whole community. And, I guess that irritates me because, damnit, I already have shelf after shelf of O'Reilly books, a good many with "Perl" in the title, and though some of them came in handy once (like the 1st and 2nd edition of the Camel) most of them aren't really much use to me and were purchased purely out of some sick and bizarre compulsion to hoard attractively colored flat-bound paperback technical books with titles printed neatly in Adobe ITC Garamond on covers decorated with 19th century engravings from the Dover Pictorial Archive. Mind you, this didn't really bother me until I needed to move twice within the span of a year and had to lug them along with me.

    Actually, I imagine if I did buy your book, I'd find some interesting things in it and I'd probably even adopt a few of the practices you recommend. But, after a couple of weeks, it'd just become another brightly colored rectangle on my shelf. So, as much as I'd like to buy it for those few choice nuggets, I'm going to take a pass.

    Edit: reworded the fourth paragraph so that it actually parses as English and makes some sense.

    "My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
      Okay. Apology gladly accepted. And I'm happy that it wasn't a personal attack, but only unintentionally read that way.

      As for the issue of PBP being a mandatory purchase, I certainly agree with you that it shouldn't be. I think you would get your money's worth even if you only read it once1, and I think coding teams are going to get ongoing benefits from it2, but as I suggest in the introduction: this kind of advice is only useful and productive when the reader genuinely wants it, and genuinely wants to change their coding behaviours for the better. Imposing any coding standard (or even just good advice) on an unwilling or uninterested programmer is almost always counterproductive.

      1For advanced programmers like yourself the main benefit isn't the specific development techniques the book suggests but, rather, the philosophical and pragmatic coding issues it encourages you to think about.
      2If nothing else, from a reduction in the number of pointless stylistic arguments ;-)

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