Re: Blocks for scope control

Robert Klemme <>
Sat, 21 Jan 2012 13:25:02 +0100
On 20.01.2012 02:16, Arved Sandstrom wrote:

On 12-01-16 02:55 AM, Robert Klemme wrote:

On 15.01.2012 22:49, Arved Sandstrom wrote:

[ SNIP ]

Regarding the method refactoring argument: if there is so much code and
hence so many local variables that you want to use blocks to introduce
smaller scopes chances are that the logic within that blocks is also
largely independent from the code around so it is a good candidate for
refactoring anyway. The reason for refactoring into methods isn't the
scope but the independent logic.

Let me give you an example. Some days prior to writing my post I had to
write some code that processed a number of items in a similar fashion.
Each item was a matter of 2 or 3 lines of code. In theory each process
could have been collapsed into one very long line with multiple
duplicated and chained method calls, rather than use temporary local
variables, but I abhor this practice. So for clarity I kept the
operations on each item as 2 or 3 lines of code with at least one
temporary local variable.

Although the type of the local variable was the same, the operations
that produced it were not - they depended on the item. So any method
that would have replaced all these individually simple simple groups of
operations would have been either a moderately complex switch or a
moderately complex if-else if-else structure, less easy to understand,
and more error-prone. Furthermore, a flag would have been necessary to
the method to indicate which branch to take.

Why _one_ method? There could be a method for each variant, couldn't
it? Chances are that the same code could be used for several items so
you end up with less methods than items.

As you may have guessed this logic had to do with post-processing
various String and Boolean command-line options delivered by a
command-line processor. Quite frankly there is nothing pretty about
this, and there never has been in any language I've ever used - all you
can hope for is to keep the code clear, as error-free as possible, as
change-proof as possible (one of the main reasons for me using local
blocks actually), and just tolerate the boilerplate processing otherwise.

I agree that this boilerplate is tedious, regardless how you do it. But
I didn't guess that your description was about such a scenario. ;-)

However, the intent of the thread was to get some feedback, and I thank
you all for it.

You're welcome!

Kind regards


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