Breaking Long Lines

Chris Johns chrisj at
Wed Nov 11 00:08:17 UTC 2020

On 10/11/20 6:38 pm, Thomas Doerfler wrote:
> Hi,
> Am 10.11.20 um 06:33 schrieb Chris Johns:
>> On 9/11/20 5:50 pm, Sebastian Huber wrote:
>>> On 09/11/2020 01:52, Chris Johns wrote:
>>>> On 6/11/20 7:11 pm, Sebastian Huber wrote:
> ...
>>>>   Avoid excess parentheses. Learn the operator precedence. rules.
>>> Yes, and I think this is a good rule.
>> I am not sure it is a good rule and workable. Using it to handle indents is an
>> example of it breaking down. The ability to control an indent is a long held
>> tradition and editors like Emacs are designed to handle it yet it is not clear
>> if it is OK under this rule.
> I tried not to jump in for more than 24 hours.


> But now I want to drop in
> my opinion. What is the whole purpose of a style guide? Is it to have a
> nice looking code layout, neat an tidy like a ideal front garden, or is
> it about readability/accessibility? We could write the whole of a C
> module into one line and it could work anyway, so what about a style guide?

We need something and I like what we have. It is a nice balance. I think some
parts of the guide deal with issues that appear over time. We also now have
better compiler checking these days, eg missing break statements, unused
variables, etc, and other things that safety people like such as always have
braces with nesting blocks.

> IMHO it should improve readability and understanding of what goes on in
> a certain module. The code should be readable and understandable not
> only for highly experienced C programmers, but also for newbies (if they
> tr<y hard enough).

Yes. My concern is about rules that are worded in a way make them difficult to
interpret and apply making them ineffectual.

> Now back to paranthesis: Since we are very frugal with comments, we
> should at least make complex expressions easier to read by structuring
> them, where convenient, with parenthesis where it improves readability.

I agree.

> An alternative rule like "Learn the operator precedence" could lead to a
> similar sentence "Learn C block structure" to eliminate any code
> indentation rules, because these rules have the ONLY purpose to make the
> underlying code block structure easier to visualize and comprehend.

Yes I agree.

> So: my counter-rule would be "use paranthesis if you think it makes an
> expression easier to understand".

Nice. This is guide that does not paint itself into a corner.


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