A question of Style, was: SPUG: Sort an array question

Geoffrey & Kristin Grosenbach glyph at mac.com
Sat Dec 28 14:06:05 CST 2002

On Friday, December 27, 2002, at 12:26  PM, Brian Hatch wrote:
> If you are writing code that is only used by your employer, then
> increased obfuscation can lead to a good situation called "job 
> security".

*cold chill creeps up the back of my neck*

In the Tao of Programming it is written:

"Though a program be but three lines long, someday it will have to be 

I've spent the last month rewriting a whole Perl-based system because it 
was so obfuscated. (Okay, it was also failing to fulfill the purposes 
for which it was originally written, but obfuscation was one of the 
reasons for the rewrite). The people before me had either left with 
short notice, or were fired. I'm not hoping to lose my job, but I do 
hope to leave a better system for those who follow by documenting and 
using readable code (which often uses short variable names, but with 

And what about POD? I'm surprised at how many Perl programmers I meet 
who don't know anything about POD (maybe I should volunteer to give a 
lightning talk on my favorite ways to use POD). It may not be as 
automatic as JavaDoc or some other in-code documentation systems, but 
it's built into the Perl interpreter and there are a lot of translators 
that can work with it.

A friend of mine says:

"A good programmer can recognize well-written code from 50 feet away."

(He must have really good eyesight).



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