JUL
22
2006

real threat to freedom??

after reading the thread on kde-core-devel mailing about
a common coding style for kdelibs it seems we have to clan:
the pro and the anti ... well like every flamewars :D

the interesting part is definitly in the "against" clan,
some are against because they don't like the proposed style, the others are really
interesting and I'm one of them, they object on a purely political
basis, the fact that using a mandatory coding style will add
another level of useless bureaucracy to kde ... for my part I think
that the discussion should have happened on an unrestricted mailing list
like kde-devel or kde-bahwedontcareaboutthis ... but who am I to say that
kde-core-devel was a bad choice ...

I understand the rationale behind this and yes having a consistent looking code base
is important, but having this without having a good discussion about the various part of the
guideline ... make me feel a little uneasy, it like having the guideline book on the
first day of a new job and after reading it you say that thing doesn't make any sense.
And the answer of from your manager is "This is done on purpose, you're here to work not to
have fun" ...

To a certain point I find this a threat to my freedom of expression, software programming is not
a science (the techniques we use are) but the software itself is ART but some seems to lose the view of this ...

anyway I think we will all have to learn to live with this, like every other threat to our freedom we had lately, it's a post-9/11 world and we are getting used to ... well sort of :(

Comments

> anyway I think we will all have to learn to live with this,
> like every other threat to our freedom we had lately, it's
> a post-9/11 world and we are getting used to ...

so, if i understand you correctly, it should be expected heretofore that anyone disobeying
the new kde coding style will have their phone tapped by the NSA ? :-)

this whole thing started because the current code situation in kdelibs4 is fubar'ed. i.e. more
often than not kdelibs does not compile.

here's a little snippet of thought from a Stupid American(TM):

if your C++ project has reached the point where 4 days out of 6 it does not compile, code
indentation is the last place you should start fixing.

Nyah. :-P

--Stefan

"Nobody Expects The Spanish Inquisition"
- Monty Python


By Stefan Teleman at Sat, 07/22/2006 - 23:54

can a guy be a little bit sarcastic and cynical
on a saturday where he's stuck home because
he's fucking sick???


By Mathieu Chouinard at Sun, 07/23/2006 - 00:09

beside I understand the need ...
but I have the choice to not approve the chosen style ...
or the way it was done ...
Mathieu


By Mathieu Chouinard at Sun, 07/23/2006 - 00:11

But in the real world, which is more fun? Spending 20 minutes figuring out the code because every subdirectory you look in in kdelibs looks different because it follows what the developer felt like doing when they made it? Or being able to read and edit the code even if it's not your favorite style?

The biggest thing I see people railing about is that this was somehow given as an ultimatum, but it was posted to the list specifically *for* discussion. If they were going to just force everyone, it would have been "*ANNOUNCE* kdelibs now requires qt indentation style". Instead, it was "we all agree this is a generally good idea, and we're wanting your comments."

I do agree with some of the folks in the discussion that kde-core-devel was probably not the best place to announce it since it's a moderated/restricted list, but I don't think anyone was out to cabal you into doing it, only that they all had a discussion at Trysil and agreed amongst themselves that it should be done, and it was time to present the idea to everyone else.

Sure, open-source is about expressing yourself, but there's a difference between your own project and such a common shared resource like kdelibs. There are other important factors in open-source besides "I have the freedom to express myself." One is being a part of something bigger than yourself, and honoring other people's contributions. To me, following one set of coding standards is a way of saying to potential hackers, "we won't jerk you around, we won't make you learn how to understand the code base over and over again, we welcome your contribution."


By rangerrick at Sun, 07/23/2006 - 00:31

it was pure sarcasm man ... sigh


By Mathieu Chouinard at Sun, 07/23/2006 - 00:38

It sounded like you were exaggerating to make a point. I think the whole argument is silly, if you have to conform to the style of the existing code regardless of how you like to code, how is that any different from conforming to a kdelibs-wide style?

Anyways, carry on. :)


By rangerrick at Sun, 07/23/2006 - 01:18

I was trying to say the whole thing on k-c-d is completely
silly :D


By Mathieu Chouinard at Sun, 07/23/2006 - 01:31

Speaking from the perspective of a kdelibs user rather than developer, i.e. not a part of the people driving this decision, I welcome the proposal of a consistent coding style very much. It would definitely make my life easier.

I'm also fine with the decision being made on a restricted list, by a core group of kdelibs hackers. The debate on k-c-d pretty much validates the stated reason for doing so: Arriving at a style everybody is happy with is likely impossible, or would at least take an unreasonable amount of time. It's a smart thing to avoid this dilemma by settling on an externally established 'arbiter' coding style, and using Qt's is the obvious choice.

You know, even if we'd be able to magically arrive at a consensus on the one true coding style, one different from Qt's, Qt's style would still have a lot going for it: Someone working on a KDE app is likely going to read both kdelibs and Qt code. I know I do. Having consistency between the two may be something worth pursuing in itself.

Is the Qt coding style my pet style? Nope. In the end, do I care more about a consistent style in kdelibs than it using my pet style? Yep.


By eike hein at Sun, 07/23/2006 - 01:45

Think about it. 90% of the time, people will be using the API and not actually delving into the core of kdelibs.

So instead of alienating people by forcing them to use a common coding style (which is pretty easy to change in a good refactoring IDE btw), accept their differences and really encourage new, great code. Just insist that the API interface is clean though.

Cheers,
Ben


By bensch at Mon, 07/24/2006 - 11:56