Code Maintenaince

From: Mike Breuer (
Date: 04/02/01

I know I was the one who called for dropping the strtok discussion, but in
the light of a new day, I actually thought of a relevant point, and thought
I'd toss it out there.  The crux of the previous strtok argument (aside from
a few technical points) seems to be over whose responsibility it is to
either avoid or prevent coders from falling into various programming

Before I pose my question, I'll state that I've always been on the side that
says one shouldn't have to re-document the C language for future coders.
There are thousands of resources available for learning C, and I have always
felt free to assume that anyone maintaining my code would have reasonable
general knowledge of the language.  I was even forced to stand by this
conviction once, when during a code review (I am a professional programmer,
and am subject to such scrutiny) a fellow programmer requested that I use
comments to document a very basic use of a ternary operator because not all
programmers would necessarily be familiar with it.

All that being said, CircleMUD is clearly not being used solely by
experienced C programmers.  While I definitely disagree with the notion of
bending over backwards to aid hypothetical novices dealing with imagined
complexities, I do believe that there are some reasonable steps that could
be taken to reduce the learning curve.  My question is this:  How do people
on this list feel about the notion of documenting style, calling
conventions, or other _complex_ techniques being used in Circle, as well as
in patches, snippets, etc?

I also admit to some ignorance as to the state of the "coding" document, but
clearly that might be a good alternative if a completed version is
available.  What do you think?


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