Are developers initial useful ?

Brian T Rice water at
Thu Jan 29 19:18:28 UTC 2004

On Thu, 29 Jan 2004, Samir Saidani wrote:

> Brian T Rice <water at> writes:
> > On Thu, 29 Jan 2004, Samir Saidani wrote:
> >
> >> goran.krampe at writes:
> >> > developer initials - Unique (SM2 makes sure it is) and does not need to
> >> > change. Sure, I changed my name and also my dev id. But not many people
> >> > do that. :)
> >> > (SMSqueakMap default accountForUsername: 'gk') name
> >> > (SMSqueakMap default accountForUsername: 'gk') email
> >> > In the above "username" is the same as "developer initials" - SM2 uses
> >> > them as the username.
> >>
> >> What happens if I have the same initials than you ?
> >
> > You pick a slight variation, of course. It's just a compact identifier.
> Ok, so why don't we use a more understandable identifier than a compact
> one, especially in the squeak code (I mean the initials identifying
> who has changed which method) like : 'DavidSmith' ?
> Why not prefer intelligibility than compacity ?

What an excellent example. There are two David Smith's in the Smalltalk
community (that I am aware of): middle initials N and A.

Compactness is just a virtue because there are so darn many method
annotations... one for each remembered version of each method in each
class in your image. It adds up.

If you really want to improve it, don't add *explicitness*, add
*abstraction*. Make an object that wraps the method annotation strings and
performs lookups to find information for the author, and re-write tools
gradually (including the Browser, eventually!) to use that interface
instead. The result of this will most likely be consolidating code and
making it more sensible.

Wait - I'll bet something like this has been done already. :) Is there
some standard wrapper I'm missing? :)

Anyway, if you do this, then intelligibility /won't/ matter, or at least
intelligibility of a data-string, just as no one cares (or very few do) in
Smalltalk if chunk format is easy to write within vi.

Brian T. Rice
LOGOS Research and Development

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