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2005-07-31

On Common Lisp "style" - part 2

My first installment on Common Lisp style talked about things like lexical conventions. From that you may have guessed that choosing names is also important. It is (and obviously this is not limited to Common Lisp). Given that, I think that this article on abbreviating CL names really misses the point. Granted, sometimes your source code tends to become hard to format/indent because some names are long, but abbreviating make-array to mkbuf smacks of the work of someone who used to write C and just cannot let go. This one takes the cake, however: abbreviating char to chr.

All of this reminds me of a particular global "flag" in IntelliCorp's KEE; it had a really long name (which I don't unfortunately remember anymore, it has been almost 20 years), and ended in "-flg". I could have thought of other ways of making the name shorter.

Remember Hal Abelson's & Gerry Sussman's advice (from "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs"):

... programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.

Posted by ora at 08:27

Comments

BruceLisp! IncreduLisp! it's a syntax conspiration...

Posted by: afa at July 31, 2005 02:25 PM

I'm sure he will hate me for telling it, but brucio is perpetrated by Zach Beane, who likes to poke fun at the segment of Lispers who code according to the gospel of Graham. Be sure to also read about bif and gif ("beautiful" and "graceful if") at brucio's site (including the shocked comments).

Posted by: Rudi Schlatte at July 31, 2005 04:14 PM