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Advice: Simplify your code

Advice: Simplify your code

Advice: Simplify your code

(OP)
I have seen lots of code for lots of different things. Much of what I've seen has lots of redundancy and in some languages can actually slow the program down. This redundancy also has a tendancy to make code harder to read. Take for example the following two (they're not language specific, they just take attributes almost universal to any language (these "//" are comments):
<pre>
function DoThis(n) // creates a function called DoThis with n parameters
if n = 0
then print "apples"
// print to the screen the word "apples"
else
if n = 1
then print "oranges"
// same as above except prints "oranges" instead
if n = 2
then print "pears"
else
if n = 3
then print "peaches"
end DoThis(n)
</pre>
the same code, simplified:
<pre>
function DoThis(n) // creates a function called DoThis with n parameters
array x[] = {"apples","oranges","pears","peaches"} // initializes the array x
print array[n] // prints the value of the array
end DoThis(n)
</pre>
Now tell me which code is easier to read.

REH
hawkdogg@crosswinds.net
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Learn Linux and Leave out the Windows :)

RE: Advice: Simplify your code

REH,

With respect - could I suggest that you may be confusing conciseness with readability? My position would be that for all but the most trivial of cases future maintainability is key - rather than speed of execution or brevity of code.

With regard to your hypothetical function DoThis you are quite correct; the second example is easier to read. As a general principle however you are quite (IMHO) wrong. The more english-like your code (the more verbose) the easier it will be to read and maintain.

Regards

Mike

Mike Lacey
Mike_Lacey@Cargill.Com
Cargill's Corporate Web Site

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