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SubjectRe: Coding style - a non-issue
pgallen@randomlogic.com (Paul G. Allen)  wrote on 30.11.01 in <3C07EBB9.CF5EB85E@randomlogic.com>:

> John Kodis wrote:

> > Mathematics has a rich tradition of using short variable names such as
> > "pi" rather than something like "circle-circumference-to-diameter-ratio".
> > They keep formulas from becoming unreadably long, and have a meaning
> > which is well understood in context. While the long version may more
> > self-explainatory, it's the short form which is universally preferred.

> While 'pi', 'e', 'theta', 'phi', etc. are universally understood, things
> like 'i', 'a', and 'idx' are not.

I'd certainly call 'i' well understood in both math and computing. In
math, 'i' is what engineers call 'j' (i*i == -1), and in computing, 'i'
('j', 'k', ...) is a counter for loops (some variant of int) that don't
exceed about a screenful.

> I can use these for anything I want
> and even for more than one thing,

Of course, if you use them differently from what the convention is, *then*
you are in trouble.

> and they say nothing about what they
> are for. 'i', 'j', etc. are fine as loop counters and array indexes
> where their meaning is apparent by context, but are _not_ fine in other
> situations. You (or the person that wrote the code) may think that the
> name is perfectly fine, but someone else that thinks a bit different may
> not.

Yup.


MfG Kai
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