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Re: Proposal: Standardize to one space after full stops indocumentation, pod, comments, etc.

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March 18, 2023 19:12
Re: Proposal: Standardize to one space after full stops indocumentation, pod, comments, etc.
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On Sat, Mar 18, 2023 at 4:16 PM demerphq <> wrote:

> Part of my objection to the two space rule is that I dont want to spend
> time thinking about wrapping prose.

As someone who's not a core committer, I recognize that my opinion should
not have the same weight, so please take what I say with a grain of salt,

Arguments over formatting are soul-destroying. I have never found them
productive. However, the arguments are persistent and they can be a serious
time sink.

When I put together a team to release Test::Harness 3.0, one extremely
talented developer objected to my coding standard on the grounds that "only
amateurs use four space indent."

Because I was running that project, I put my foot down over a .perltidyrc
file and mandated its use. I *hated* the format it produced, but because we
found a compromise, I swallowed my pride because for me, it was more
important that we develop than argue over formatting. It shut down the
arguments and we were able to focus on delivering 3.0.

Later, at the BBC, I wasn't running the project I was on, but I pushed hard
for a similar approach. There was one holdout, a developer who also
couldn't stand the output (in part for reasons that the entire team,
including myself, agreed with), and he was given permission to spend some
time augmenting Perl::Tidy with PPI to get that preferred format. I bet our
team lead five quid that he would fail. I won that bet. That was time spent
on fixing a personal preference rather than building value.

Given what I do now, I often have the luxury of dictating a .perltidyrc
file and a test to ensure that all code respects that. I still hate its
output, but it works. In ten years of our consulting firm, we've only had
one argument over formatting and the developer in question won because he
was able to provide a .perltidyrc file that respected his choice. I just
hit ,pt in my editor and it does the right thing.

To my surprise, I've found that a few of the consultants we've worked with
have gone on to apply this to their other clients' projects. Seems they
prefer not arguing over formatting.

Me? For POD, I prefer two spaces after a full stop instead of one because
I've been using two spaces for decades. If we can find a way to automate
this and people agree, I'd be happy. However, if we agree on one space,
three spaces, a tab, *whatever*, I don't care. I'd go with it so long as we
can automate it. I can write POD and let some automated tool take it over.
Again, I know I'm not a committer, but I hope sharing my first-hand
experience might help.

So whatever is decided, I'm neutral on it, but formatting arguments are
soul-destroying to me. The Perl community has had enough soul-destroying
arguments. Please let's find a compromise :)


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