Strange Question

Discussion in 'C Programming' started by REH, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. REH

    REH Guest

    OK, I was at a code review today and got asked a strange questions (at
    least I thought it was). I pointed out that the naming convention they
    were using for macros clashed with one of the reserved forms for
    identifies in the standard. After some shock and disbelief, the lead
    of the project agreed to change to convention. One of the engineers
    piped up and asked, "Do we really want to accept the standard?" I
    didn't know how to answer other than response, "If you are writing C
    code, why would you not?"

    REH
     
    REH, Jun 7, 2006
    #1
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  2. REH said:

    > OK, I was at a code review today and got asked a strange questions (at
    > least I thought it was). I pointed out that the naming convention they
    > were using for macros clashed with one of the reserved forms for
    > identifies in the standard. After some shock and disbelief, the lead
    > of the project agreed to change to convention. One of the engineers
    > piped up and asked, "Do we really want to accept the standard?" I
    > didn't know how to answer other than response, "If you are writing C
    > code, why would you not?"


    There are definite benefits to /not/ accepting the Standard. It means you
    can write any old junk you like and expect it to work. If it doesn't, you
    simply yell "there's a bug in the compiler!" and switch to another vendor.
    And another. And another...

    --
    Richard Heathfield
    "Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29/7/1999
    http://www.cpax.org.uk
    email: rjh at above domain (but drop the www, obviously)
     
    Richard Heathfield, Jun 7, 2006
    #2
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  3. In article <>,
    Richard Heathfield <> wrote:

    >There are definite benefits to /not/ accepting the Standard. It means you
    >can write any old junk you like and expect it to work. If it doesn't, you
    >simply yell "there's a bug in the compiler!" and switch to another vendor.


    It's much the same if you *do* follow the standard...

    -- Richard
     
    Richard Tobin, Jun 7, 2006
    #3
  4. REH

    Guest

    Really.. you should follow conventions. In practise, who can be
    bothered ;)
    ____________
    Compilr - the online C#, C, VB.NET, Fortran compiler -
    http://www.caller.me.uk/Compilr
     
    , Jun 7, 2006
    #4
  5. writes:
    > Really.. you should follow conventions. In practise, who can be
    > bothered ;)


    Conventions like quoting previous context when posting a followup?

    There are reports that groups.google.com has updated their software so
    followups include the previous article by default. Did you
    deliberately delete the lines starting with "> "?

    --
    Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
    San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
    We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.
     
    Keith Thompson, Jun 7, 2006
    #5
  6. REH

    Guest

    REH wrote:

    > One of the engineers
    > piped up and asked, "Do we really want to accept the standard?" I
    > didn't know how to answer other than response, "If you are writing C
    > code, why would you not?"


    Because your compiler supports some very useful extensions ?
     
    , Jun 7, 2006
    #6
  7. REH

    Guest

    Keith Thompson wrote:

    > Conventions like quoting previous context when posting a followup?


    Similar remarks have been made to me and I must say I find them very
    puzzling.

    First , do people who post here really have trouble remembering
    the context of a thread which only contains 5-6 posts ? I don't see how
    anyone can participate in a thread if their memory is that bad.

    Second , is it so hard for people to obtain a newsreader which can
    display all the
    messages of a thread together and make it easy to switch back and
    forth between messages ? Pine can do that , is available for a large
    variety of platforms and free. I'm sure emacs can as well. I'm sure the
    same applies to many other newsreaders.

    Third , if it is so hard why not access the group through Google ? Or
    is
    that considered sacrilegious ?

    Quoting context when the context is obvious is distracting and wastes
    the reader's time.
     
    , Jun 7, 2006
    #7
  8. REH

    kyle york Guest

    Greetings,

    wrote:
    > Keith Thompson wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Conventions like quoting previous context when posting a followup?

    >
    >
    > Similar remarks have been made to me and I must say I find them very
    > puzzling.
    >
    > First , do people who post here really have trouble remembering
    > the context of a thread which only contains 5-6 posts ? I don't see how
    > anyone can participate in a thread if their memory is that bad.


    If I only read one thread/day, this wouldn't be a problem. When I read
    several hundred it is. Also realize that my newsfeed may not get all of
    the messages, or may get them out of order in which case I've no context
    to determine to what the responses relate.

    >
    > Third , if it is so hard why not access the group through Google ? Or
    > is
    > that considered sacrilegious ?


    I download messages & read at my leasure, often times when not connected
    to a network. Google doesn't help much here, does it?

    >
    > Quoting context when the context is obvious is distracting and wastes
    > the reader's time.
    >


    Do explain the logic in that statement. Someone can read this message as
    written, without any others around it, and follow it clearly. How
    exactly is this distracting and wasting time? If I don't need the
    context, it's easy enough to skip the quoted parts.


    --
    Kyle A. York
    Sr. Subordinate Grunt
     
    kyle york, Jun 7, 2006
    #8
  9. REH

    Guest

    kyle york wrote:

    > Do explain the logic in that statement. Someone can read this message as
    > written, without any others around it, and follow it clearly. How
    > exactly is this distracting and wasting time? If I don't need the
    > context, it's easy enough to skip the quoted parts.


    But in order to realize that _you_could_have_skipped_them_
    you need to read them first. If it turns out that you didn't need
    to read them then you have wasted your time. Furthermore if
    you are replying to a long post and you need to concentrate on
    specific parts to comment on it makes it harder to locate those
    parts on repeated readings if there is additional stuff.

    Spiros Bousbouras
     
    , Jun 7, 2006
    #9
  10. REH

    Flash Gordon Guest

    wrote:
    > REH wrote:
    >
    >> One of the engineers
    >> piped up and asked, "Do we really want to accept the standard?" I
    >> didn't know how to answer other than response, "If you are writing C
    >> code, why would you not?"

    >
    > Because your compiler supports some very useful extensions ?


    And when you then need, or would find it useful, to use a different
    compiler?

    There are times when extensions are required, but why limit yourself to
    your current platform without good reason? See
    http://clc-wiki.net/wiki/Portability_and_ANSI_C_Compliance for rather
    more reasons for following the standard.
    --
    Flash Gordon, living in interesting times.
    Web site - http://home.flash-gordon.me.uk/
    comp.lang.c posting guidelines and intro:
    http://clc-wiki.net/wiki/Intro_to_clc
     
    Flash Gordon, Jun 7, 2006
    #10
  11. REH

    Eric Sosman Guest

    wrote On 06/07/06 16:49,:
    > REH wrote:
    >
    >
    >> One of the engineers
    >>piped up and asked, "Do we really want to accept the standard?" I
    >>didn't know how to answer other than response, "If you are writing C
    >>code, why would you not?"

    >
    >
    > Because your compiler supports some very useful extensions ?


    It's one thing to make a conscious decision to stray
    outside the Standard's bounds, but it's quite a different
    matter to stumble over the line without knowing you've
    done so. The former is the exercise of choice in the
    never-ending balance between conflicting goals that is
    engineering. The latter is just a display of ignorance.

    In my country, the standards of automobile operation
    tell me to drive on the right side of the road and allow
    opposing traffic to use the left side (from my perspective,
    obviously). Occasionally I will nonetheless steer my car
    into the left lane in order to pass a slower vehicle or
    make an awkward turn or something, but I do so only as
    a conscious matter, having assured myself that it's the
    proper maneuver for the moment and that it is safe; I still
    "accept the standard" even though I cross the line. I put
    it to you that you would not want to share a roadway with
    someone who was flat-out unaware of the "keep right" rule,
    much less with someone who rejected it out of hand ...

    --
     
    Eric Sosman, Jun 7, 2006
    #11
  12. REH

    CBFalconer Guest

    wrote:
    > Keith Thompson wrote:
    >
    >> Conventions like quoting previous context when posting a followup?

    >
    > Similar remarks have been made to me and I must say I find them very
    > puzzling.
    >
    > First , do people who post here really have trouble remembering
    > the context of a thread which only contains 5-6 posts ? I don't see how
    > anyone can participate in a thread if their memory is that bad.


    Why do you assume the other messages have ever arrived? Even if
    they have, why do you assume they are still available?

    >
    > Second , is it so hard for people to obtain a newsreader which can
    > display all the messages of a thread together and make it easy to
    > switch back and forth between messages ? Pine can do that , is
    > available for a large variety of platforms and free. I'm sure emacs
    > can as well. I'm sure the same applies to many other newsreaders.


    See above.

    >
    > Third , if it is so hard why not access the group through Google ? Or
    > is that considered sacrilegious ?


    Google is an inefficient pain in the neck means of accessing
    usenet. All the above caveats still apply, and in addition google
    mungs articles.

    >
    > Quoting context when the context is obvious is distracting and wastes
    > the reader's time.


    On the contrary, it makes the article self-cohesive and coherent.

    --
    "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we.
    They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country
    and our people, and neither do we." -- G. W. Bush.
    "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the
    leaders. All you have to do is tell them they are being
    attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism
    and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way
    in any country." --Hermann Goering.
     
    CBFalconer, Jun 7, 2006
    #12
  13. REH

    Guest

    CBFalconer wrote:

    > wrote:


    > > First , do people who post here really have trouble remembering
    > > the context of a thread which only contains 5-6 posts ? I don't see how
    > > anyone can participate in a thread if their memory is that bad.

    >
    > Why do you assume the other messages have ever arrived? Even if
    > they have, why do you assume they are still available?


    Because I don't know enough about how usenet works no doubt. Where
    could I find out more about how the data flows on usenet ie how the
    information
    travells from the moment one writes a message on one's computer either
    using
    a newsreader or Google until it finds its way into other people's
    computers ?

    > > Third , if it is so hard why not access the group through Google ? Or
    > > is that considered sacrilegious ?

    >
    > Google is an inefficient pain in the neck means of accessing
    > usenet. All the above caveats still apply, and in addition google
    > mungs articles.


    Mungs them in what way ?

    One thing I like about Google is how it displays several messages of a
    thread in one
    page. I find it much more convenient to go back and forth between
    messages
    and compare what they're saying if they are on the same page rather
    than
    having only one message on a page. Is there a newsreader which does
    that ?

    Spiros Bousbouras
     
    , Jun 7, 2006
    #13
  14. REH

    Chris Torek Guest

    Zaphod Beeblebrox writes:

    > <> wrote (argumenting for *not* including context):
    >>But in order to realize that _you_could_have_skipped_them_
    >>you need to read them first. [snippage] Furthermore if
    >>you are replying to a long post and you need to concentrate on
    >>specific parts to comment on it makes it harder to locate those
    >>parts on repeated readings if there is additional stuff.


    [Beeblebrox's remarks snipped, because Mr Bousbouras is certain he
    will have already read them, and remember them.]

    Mr Bousbouras, would you care to respond to Mr Beeblebrox's remarks?
    --
    In-Real-Life: Chris Torek, Wind River Systems
    Salt Lake City, UT, USA (40°39.22'N, 111°50.29'W) +1 801 277 2603
    email: forget about it http://web.torek.net/torek/index.html
    Reading email is like searching for food in the garbage, thanks to spammers.
     
    Chris Torek, Jun 7, 2006
    #14
  15. On 7 Jun 2006 14:00:22 -0700, in comp.lang.c , wrote:

    >First , do people who post here really have trouble remembering
    >the context of a thread which only contains 5-6 posts ?


    Today I can see ~130 messages in 30 different threads, in one group
    alone. I follow around thirteen technical groups covering C, C++,
    Samba, wireless networking and network security. Trying to remember
    every single message in every single thread is pretty much impossible.
    And this isn't my day-job, which is running a complex project
    involving cabling up and kitting out a new building, testing and
    deploying around 130 applications and shipping users into the space,
    half way round the world from my own office. And I'm not getting any
    younger either. Sometimes I get home and call my kids the wrong names.
    :)

    >Second , is it so hard for people to obtain a newsreader which can
    >display all the messages of a thread together and make it easy to switch back and
    >forth between messages ?


    I'd counter by asking whether its really so hard to keep appropriate
    context, as I've done here. Personally I find this much easier *when
    making posts*, as it helps me keep my own thoughts in order.

    >Pine can do that , is available for a large
    >variety of platforms and free. I'm sure emacs can as well. I'm sure the
    >same applies to many other newsreaders.


    Mine can too, but I choose not to fill my hard disk with thousands of
    defunct messages, and my ISP chooses not to retain messages for more
    than about a week.

    >Third , if it is so hard why not access the group through Google ? Or
    >is that considered sacrilegious ?


    So you're saying I should have to fire up *another* application, to
    find out what someone said a few days back? Why me?
    --
    Mark McIntyre

    "Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place.
    Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are,
    by definition, not smart enough to debug it."
    --Brian Kernighan
     
    Mark McIntyre, Jun 7, 2006
    #15
  16. REH

    Guest

    Flash Gordon wrote:

    > wrote:
    > > REH wrote:
    > >
    > >> One of the engineers
    > >> piped up and asked, "Do we really want to accept the standard?" I
    > >> didn't know how to answer other than response, "If you are writing C
    > >> code, why would you not?"

    > >
    > > Because your compiler supports some very useful extensions ?

    >
    > And when you then need, or would find it useful, to use a different
    > compiler?


    You rewrite the programme or you modify the compiler (if you have the
    source) or you don't use it at all.

    > There are times when extensions are required, but why limit yourself to
    > your current platform without good reason? See
    > http://clc-wiki.net/wiki/Portability_and_ANSI_C_Compliance for rather
    > more reasons for following the standard.


    I don't doubt that there are good reasons for following the standard.
    You asked
    for a reason for *not* following the standard which I provided.
     
    , Jun 7, 2006
    #16
  17. REH

    Guest

    Chris Torek wrote:

    > Zaphod Beeblebrox writes:
    >
    > > <> wrote (argumenting for *not* including context):
    > >>But in order to realize that _you_could_have_skipped_them_
    > >>you need to read them first. [snippage] Furthermore if
    > >>you are replying to a long post and you need to concentrate on
    > >>specific parts to comment on it makes it harder to locate those
    > >>parts on repeated readings if there is additional stuff.

    >
    > [Beeblebrox's remarks snipped, because Mr Bousbouras is certain he
    > will have already read them, and remember them.]
    >
    > Mr Bousbouras, would you care to respond to Mr Beeblebrox's remarks?


    Mr. Beeblebrox is an idiot and his comments are not worth replying to
    :)

    And there's no need for that Mr. Bousbouras stuff ; Spiros will do.

    Spiros Bousbouras
     
    , Jun 7, 2006
    #17
  18. writes:
    > Keith Thompson wrote:
    >> Conventions like quoting previous context when posting a followup?

    >
    > Similar remarks have been made to me and I must say I find them very
    > puzzling.


    The issue has been discussed here at great length many times. One of
    the *good* things about Google Groups is that it lets you go back and
    read old discussions.

    [snip]

    > Third , if it is so hard why not access the group through Google ?
    > Or is that considered sacrilegious ?


    Jumping over to Google Groups to look up the context of a single
    article is rarely worth the effort. If you post here, it's your
    responsibility to make it easy for your readers to know what you're
    talking about.

    > Quoting context when the context is obvious is distracting and wastes
    > the reader's time.


    Contextless followups are distracting and waste the readers' time.

    --
    Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
    San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
    We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.
     
    Keith Thompson, Jun 8, 2006
    #18
  19. wrote:
    > Flash Gordon wrote:
    >
    >> wrote:
    >>> REH wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> One of the engineers
    >>>> piped up and asked, "Do we really want to accept the standard?" I
    >>>> didn't know how to answer other than response, "If you are writing C
    >>>> code, why would you not?"
    >>> Because your compiler supports some very useful extensions ?

    >> And when you then need, or would find it useful, to use a different
    >> compiler?

    >
    > You rewrite the programme or you modify the compiler (if you have the
    > source) or you don't use it at all.


    How logical does it sound to modify the compiler (and all its future
    versions) just to comply with a non-conforming program?

    Have you ever tried to alter even one line in your compiler and then
    assert its correct operation?


    --
    one's freedom stops where others' begin

    Giannis Papadopoulos
    Computer and Communications Engineering dept. (CCED)
    University of Thessaly
    http://dop.freegr.net/
     
    Giannis Papadopoulos, Jun 8, 2006
    #19
  20. REH wrote:
    > OK, I was at a code review today and got asked a strange questions (at
    > least I thought it was). I pointed out that the naming convention they
    > were using for macros clashed with one of the reserved forms for
    > identifies in the standard.


    Which ones, __XXXX or EXXXX?

    The former is a definite no no, the latter is less so.

    > After some shock and disbelief, the lead
    > of the project agreed to change to convention. One of the engineers
    > piped up and asked, "Do we really want to accept the standard?" I
    > didn't know how to answer other than response, "If you are writing C
    > code, why would you not?"


    Do they want to be able to demonstrate code correctness on the
    basis of code semantics, or purely on the basis that it runs and
    gives the right output on the current development suite and
    target?

    Do they want their code to be robust with respect to changes of
    compiler,
    standard library or platform?

    Do they anticipate using portions of the same code in future projects?

    The C standard is not the only standard with respect to C. For
    instance,
    POSIX has extensions, restrictions, and is even in contradiction with
    ISO C in a few respects.

    The issue comes down to whether the code being written is to be
    semantically sound. If they are relying on assumptions and extensions,
    that's fine so long as they have a rigorous basis for trusting those
    assumptions and extensions.

    If they are flying in the face of some of the C semantics, then
    the real question is whether they 'need' to do so, and what do
    they actually gain from doing that? If the answer is no and nothing
    much respectively, then writing non standard code is what Larry Wall
    calles False Laziness.

    It may not hurt them in the short term, but it may well hurt them
    in the long term.

    The C language certainly has some problems, but ignoring
    its core has the tendancy of introducing unnecessary future
    complications.

    But at the end of the day, some people actually enjoy having
    to rewrite source code. ;-)

    --
    Peter
     
    Peter Nilsson, Jun 8, 2006
    #20
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