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From Matt Benson <>
Subject Re: [EL] Stylistic changes (was: svn commit: r565581)
Date Fri, 17 Aug 2007 19:55:01 GMT

--- Rahul Akolkar <> wrote:

> On 8/13/07, <>
> wrote:
> > Author: mbenson
> > Date: Mon Aug 13 17:06:29 2007
> > New Revision: 565581
> >
> > URL:
> > Log:
> > format
> >
> <snip/>
> Thanks for looking at [el], it was about time
> someone stepped up :-)
> I feel some of the purely stylistic changes (such as
> this commit)
> should be avoided, as far as possible. Bit more here
> [1].
> -Rahul

Rahul, I haven't forgotten your earlier objections of
this nature; I have tried to compromise by only
modifying those files in which it is my intent to make
further changes.  I hope you will see this as at least
somewhat comforting in that "inconsequential" changes
will only be made in the context of "meaningful" ones.
 Further, I have attempted to granularize these to
ease the task of discerning the meaningful changes
among the superficial.  The particular case in
question is a preliminary reformatting, though the
case you cited wrt [jxpath] involved actual functional
code.  WRT formatting:  further research on my part
has discovered the note on c.a.o./patches.html to the
effect that each component has its own coding
conventions, which should be respected.  But to
examine this further, what are coding conventions but
the artifact of an agreement between the committers to
a codebase?  When the original committers desert and
new ones must step up, why must this burden be
augmented by that of being constrained to work within
some extraordinary set of formatting rules?  IMHO
Commons should have an "encouraged" set of formatting
standards; individual components using some other
format should consider providing one or more resources
to assist contributors in compliance.  Finally, when
reviving an unmaintained component, given consensus
between the involved parties, it should be permissible
to convert the codebase to an agreeable set of
formatting rules (hopefully the encouraged Commons
standard, but theoretically something else).  In both
the formatting and functional cases, it is my personal
situation that glaring inefficiencies (unfortunately
including gratuitous keystrokes) distract my ability
to focus on the important points of a given task. 
Most likely this is a mild psychological illness of
some sort, but some developers are known to express
the opinion that constant refactoring is an intrinsic
part of (good) development.  I do agree that if a
number of developers are working on a codebase and
certain changes are made back and forth based on the
whimsy of particular members of the team, that's a
waste of everyone's time.  But I think such cases can
and should be democratically settled as individual
stylistic concerns (e.g. ternary operator vs.

I hope we can conclude this with some universally
acceptable solution, though I admit it may well take a
wiser head than mine to resolve our seemingly
incompatible stances on the issue.  :)


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