Conrad's ALFS comments

Bill Maltby LFS Related lfsbill at
Thu Aug 29 06:00:37 PDT 2002

On Thu, 29 Aug 2002, Rui Ferreira wrote:

> Since I started this thread, I might as well excuse myself.
> >From: Bill Maltby LFS Related <lfsbill at>
> >Subject: Re: Conrad's ALFS comments
> >Agree absolutely. And if clear understanding is clearly more important
> >than performance, I don't even think of using shorter names. It is only
> >when trying to get a balance of both maintainability and performance that
> >I even consider very short names. My failing is that once I start going
> >for the performance (in a given languange) I tend to go to extremes. :-(
> >3 months later, when I look at the code again... well you know where that
> >goes! :P
> Since I learn from examples I should have kept my hands ways from the 
> keyboard when I wrote in the same message:
> - source functions from another file

Don't be so hard on yourself. I only pointed out that there are con-
viences if they are in the same file. But there are excellent reasons to
have them in a different file. Just from the user interface perspective,
if you have X and/or multiple terms open and view multiple files simul-
taneously, that is really handy. This lets each file be more single-
function-specific - likely more understandable and maintainable.

Also, some functions may have use in multiple places. For example, a
simple prompt and get a Y/N reply. A function like that, that takes a
prompt message for a parameter and then gets a yes/no reply and checks
that only a yes/no is given would do very nicely in a file by itself or in
a file of collected "general purpose" functions. They can then be sourced
by any script wanting to use the set of general functions. Just like C
library functions and system calls. Big productivity/reliability gains.

> - change to short variable names
> The examples I had that give me the source_functions ideia also use the 
> long_variable_names.

As you have seen, not an entirely bad idea. Shortening for performance
reasons has definite trade-offs that should be carefully considered. But
if they are considered, I see reasons for both, depending on situations.

Bill Maltby
billm at

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