• Subject: RE: IBM pushing Java
  • From: "Simon Coulter" <shc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 28 Mar 99 16:45:12 +1100

Hello Brad,

David Prowack has given a good answer as to why JavaScript and Java are more 
dissimilar than similar.  However 
I wanted to comment on the self-documenting aspect.

JavaScript is fairly self-documenting because the designers chose good names 
(in most cases) for the objects 
and their attributes.  In the same way the naming convention chosen by the 
designers of CPF makes our 
favourite Command Language self-documenting.  If you know the naming convention 
you can 'guess' the object 
types and likely command names.

No-one needs a comment in CL like:
        /* Create file */

Tell why the file is being created and how it will be used.  I can tell from 
the code what is happening.

IMPORTANT!!!!  A lot of time should be 
spent in designing the names of classes, the names of the methods, the names of 
the attributes, even the names 
of the instantiated objects should be carefully chosen.  Even to the extent of 
considering the correctnes of 
names like toString() and asString().  Do this right and the code becomes 
self-documenting -- which is not to 
say that comments are not still required but less of the reiterative type will 

Comments should illumiate not reiterate.

And of course, my usual trailer:  Any programming language can be 
self-documenting (within language limits 
like 6-char names) if good names are chosen.

I once saw a C program that had a dozen different 'sleep' variables -- wait, 
sleep, slep, siesta, sieta, 
sleep2, snooze, etc -- notice the similar names with minor spelling variations? 
(Shocking thing was it was IBM 
code -- although not AS/400 code -- and it still gives me nightmares!)  There 
is little excuse in RPG for 
TEMP1, TEMP2, TEMP3, etc but never in a language with long name support.

Simon Coulter.

 FlyByNight Software         AS/400 Technical Specialists       
 Eclipse the competition - run your business on an IBM AS/400.  
 Phone: +61 3 9419 0175      Mobile: +61 0411 091 400           
 Fax:   +61 3 9419 0175      mailto: shc@flybynight.com.au      
 Windoze should not be open at Warp speed.                      

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