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Do You Code Like A Girl?


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#1 cre8pc

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 08:40 PM

This just cracked me up when I saw it.

Code like a girl, because my first jobs in web site work in the 1990's all strongly emphasized how expertly typed and laid out the HTML was.

Every place I worked had their own set of rules for how source code had to look. The rules were all created by my male bosses. One of them would make me re-do lines of code if I forgot to indent where he wanted lines indented, like table cells.

Another company had the same practice. All of us user interface engineers had hundreds of thousands of pages to work on and the only way we could avoid wanting to kill each other was by setting a standard set of rules to code by. We indented the same. We used the same procedures, like the end </td> had to be on the same line as the content, not the next line down. We commented directions to each other liberally and at times, comically.

"Hey Mike. Here's your part!"

"This section to be filled in my someone when somebody finally makes a decision what goes here."

Programmers are another set. Ever try reading another programmer's code?

I never thought there was anything girlie about being fussy about code. It always seemed to be a badge of honor once you got the whole thing down and could code 90 miles an hour, or edit someone's page in 3 seconds and not make any errors. I used to clean up pages of jumbled up HTML and .asp pages out of sheer boredom, because the look of a clean, orderly page just made my day.

This is so sad, isn't it? :)

#2 A.N.Onym

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 09:04 PM

Don't see anything wrong with properly formatted and styled back-end code as well. It is much, much simpler to work on it later or for someone else.

Another thing I call 'a beautiful piece of code' is when there is an elegant solution to a complex problem, like the :first-child pseudo class. It'd take a lot of effort to achieve the same effect without this simple code.
Or some stat counting tool that gives you complete information about your project that no other software or human can provide.

Just a matter of preference and dedication to designing and coding to me.

#3 EGOL

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 09:24 PM

I used to do lots of field work for a government agency with lots of scientists in the field collecting samples and data - all georeferenced. Units if measurment, format of latitude and longitude, datum and declination - all essential and a bugger if you had to convert in the field in the 1960's with primitive calculators. Field book standarization was essential - but the problem back them was reading someone's handwriting - smeared with sweat, rain or a squished bug the size of a small animal.

Edited by EGOL, 14 June 2006 - 09:25 PM.


#4 yannis

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 09:43 PM

Professor N. Wirth taught us how to code like girls a long time ago! I admit I still do that. It’s my female side! Pascal code was elegant, simple, logical and intuitive and liberated us from the mental twists of spaghetti code. Then everything came served by people that thought humans think like machines and plus plus can make sense and then one can talk about Mussolini style programming… but that is another story!

Engineers know that the best solutions are those that look simple (The KISS principle!). In most case these are the most thought after and difficult to achieve solutions. Unfortunately very little of today’s web programming (ever tried to understand php code written by another programmer?) falls into this category with the exception perhaps of CSS.

#5 canadianchick

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:28 PM

Is neat code a girly thing or just an organized thing?

I'm no web designer, but I prefer to take the time to create neat code. I indent certain lines, keep some items on the same line, bump others to the next line, etc. I've discovered that nicely formatted html is easier to scan and maintain.

Besides, messy things disturb me. :) I'm one of those people who must stack the books on the bookshelf a certain way, vacuum the carpet in straight lines, and keep my kitchen herbs and spices in alphabetical order. If that's girly, then so be it.

#6 yannis

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:41 PM

Besides, messy things disturb me. wink-2.gif I'm one of those people who must stack the books on the bookshelf a certain way, vacuum the carpet in straight lines, and keep my kitchen herbs and spices in alphabetical order. If that's girly, then so be it.


Wow! Holy inspiration! Now I know why I drive my girlfriend nuts sometimes! Books all over the place... kitchen herbs? You mean those things in the little bottles?

On a serious note though good programming := neat code;

Edited by yannis, 14 June 2006 - 10:43 PM.


#7 A.N.Onym

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:52 PM

Is neat code a girly thing or just an organized thing?

Yes and..Yes.

I think women are can be more organized than men and they definitely value the beauty and convenience more than men, too.

A man doesn't care how his books sit on his shelves, desk or a sofa, mostly. Let alone kitchen herbs (spice?) - I just dump them in the corner of my kitchen cupboard and use when necessary :)

So it is not a 'girly' or not 'girly' type of thing, but a matter of organization and appearance.

Speaking of appearance, men don't spend hours putting up war paint on them either.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 14 June 2006 - 10:54 PM.


#8 Juliette

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 03:05 AM

I feel so much better now - i always like to make sure my code is neat and organised - purely because i find it far easier to follow whats going on if the code is neat. I always just thought it was something i did since none of the few other programmers i've worked with neaten their code, so it's great to find there are a bunch of people out there who do it that way.

#9 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 03:29 AM

Well, I definitely code like a girl. One of my first steps when taking on a project where I'm taking over somebody else's code is to make it match my own layout standards. This can be tedious (and there are certainly projects where I decided against it, because of scope) but having the code organized my way can make the rest of my work a lot quicker.

As much as I can read code pretty fluently, it's much less frustrating when I know where I can expect to find all my tags.

I don't know how much of this is an issue of aesthetics; for me, efficiency definitely plays a big role. On the other hand, I have definitely gone through and cleaned up code on pages which I had no intention of making changes to - just because I didn't like the way it looked.

I guess, to me, sloppy code = lack of professionalism. If the code is sloppy, that tells me that it was probably assembled by a visual editor and never touched by human...uh...keyboard. As much as I agree that the use of tools like Dreamweaver, etc., can be a great efficiency - I also think that diving into the code is absolutely a must for any professional. And I simply can't understand how anybody would be able to jump into a swamp of mucky code without wanting to clean it up!

#10 eKstreme

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 03:51 AM

Why not call it OCD code? That would be a more accurate way of describing it. Calling it girlie is a bit of stretch....

Personally, I love looking at clean code. It's a sign that the programmer cares. When I download or use a library, the function names, the variable names, etc, must all be consistent. I really hate it when different conventions are used. In PHP for example, we have urlencode() and strip_tags() and many other such examples: there is no consistency in how a two-word function name should be formatted. Now that's sloppy!

On a serious note though good programming := neat code;

Yannis := very funny; :)

Pierre

#11 Ruud

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 07:59 AM

Thanks Kim! I knew there was a name for my condition....

Just like I work better and more efficient in a nicely organised office space (or at least at a nice desk) I work better with code that looks and therefore feels better. One element I use to achieve this is white space. Make the code easy to read, sweet on the eyes and transparent to the reader.

Personally, I love looking at clean code. It's a sign that the programmer cares.


And that she or he is good. In well organised code it is less likely that you overlook something while the care you took with the code will be reflected in maybe not its quality but certainyl its functionality.

The last time I looked at osCommerce's mix of php/html it made me shake my head. Why make it so uninviting?

In PHP for example, we have urlencode() and strip_tags() and many other such examples: there is no consistency in how a two-word function name should be formatted. Now that's sloppy!


... you could include a functions file with synonyms for those functions ;)

As for cleanly formatted HTML code... I often need that. A complex table structure is muhc easier to read if you format the code well. Doesn't have to be indented or whatever convention: structure it so you love it and you can easily work with it. But do structure it.

CSS formatted layout can be nice because you get this clean code: a set of div's, all semantic and everything. Really looks sad then when additional markup has to be added to achieve certain effects :D

#12 wiser3

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 08:49 AM

I code like a girl. In the past i've wasted a lot of time tweaking every indent, comment, etc... Now i use GoLive which has a "Rewrite Source Code" feature. I love it. One click to beautify a page or even an entire site. Numourus options allow you to set up how it will indent, layout, and colourize the code. Plus it takes care of many coding problems like closing open tags, etc...

#13 JohnMu

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 09:53 AM

My name is John, and I code like a guy.

ha ha!! I can't lie, sorry!!

Even though I had a few classes with Niklaus Wirth (Oberon, bah!) I'm still cleaning things up from back then (nice guy, though).

My main problem is that I like to do things in a new way; a new project - a new development environment / language / etc. That often means I end up learning by doing, which means my code is all over the place, tangled pieces of spagetti, intermixed with a few meatballs, some sauce here and there and a quick and dirty "clean-up" (sprinke grated cheese on top so as to hide everthing). It's a mess, I admit it.

In the sommer we usually have a few interns over at the office to code for us; they give me the strangest looks when they have to look through my code (usually not sure if I'm some sort of genius who codes unconventionally - as if I coded like that on purpose :D - or just, well, a spagetti-coder).

Of course when something "normal" needs to be done, it's done correctly and with clean code, clean structures, comments, etc.. But that's not the kind of job I like to remember (seems to me it's just 'manual labor', filling in the blanks, no thinking / coding involved).

So when someone asks me, I only talk about the fun projects where I can spagetti-code ;), they're the fun ones.

#14 dgeary9

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 10:33 AM

Well, I'm not much of any kind of coder, but I think I'd be joining softplus :D. I am capable of producing very nice clean reports for clients - but you should see my working analytics spreadsheets - yeeeks!!! I don't think in clean, linear, indented lines, so my works in progress would to most people seem messy.

#15 adam-s

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 11:18 AM

Everything just has to have its place for me. Code also has to be elegant as in allowing for scaleability and yet having a minimum amount of code and resource overhead. Messy code just disturbs me. Messy directory structure disturbs me too as well as mixed file extensions in a site (php+html+htm+asp+cgi). I also can't stand messy dynamic URLs. I'm not crazy loL

#16 canadianchick

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 12:07 PM

Wow! Holy inspiration! Now I know why I drive my girlfriend nuts sometimes! Books all over the place... kitchen herbs? You mean those things in the little bottles?


Lol at "those things in the little bottles".


Speaking of appearance, men don't spend hours putting up war paint on them either.


Neither do I. :D

#17 fisicx

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 02:28 AM

Tee Hee,

Not just me then - my GF gets most upset when I leave tools lying around. I try to explain that I left the spanner on the desk because I'm going to need it next week and what is the point of taking it out to the garage only to have to go get it again later. Seems sensible to me.

But, I've always coded like a gurl. I began in the days when 128kb was the biggest most powerful machine in the world - a BBC computer no less.

You had to write neat code - there wasn't enough memory to do anything else.

#18 Tangaroa

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 02:29 AM

I code like a girl...with a man's touch <_<

Every time when I start a new project I try to keep the code as clean and structured as possible, with commented code where needed. But as the project comes along and keeps growing I tend to add code in a "sloppy" kind of way. It's not that my codes becomes a total mess but it is not as clean as when I started the project. In my case that is not a disaster since I'm the only one working on that project. If it is code that was written by me I'll alway's understand what is happening in a split second, but I guess that's the case for all of you.

Rgds

T.

Edited by Tangaroa, 19 June 2006 - 02:30 AM.


#19 Brandon_Cstone

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 11:03 AM

I go so far that when I have server side code that will include HTML tags, I will indent the HTML tags so that when the end results, the HTML tags when you click view source are prefectly lined up so you can't even tell where my server side code starts and ends.
The problem with this, is it makes the actual code that a programmer would work with less uniform (I may have 3 extra tabs before each HTML line so that the end result matches better). This may actually be the exact opposite of the purpose of pretty code....



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