C++ style question/criticism, was Re: Mozy Contest Answers

Ross Werner rosswerner at gmail.com
Sat Nov 4 19:27:26 MST 2006

On Sat, 04 Nov 2006 18:09:50 -0800, Levi Pearson <levi at cold.org> wrote:

> Why, oh why, do you use so much darned extra space in this code?  It's  
> an incredibly inefficient use of both vertical and horizontal space.   
> What is the point of putting curly braces on lines all by themselves?
> Again, I don't mean this as a personal attack, just an honest bafflement  
> at a programming style I've seen used fairly frequently.

Some people find it easier to match up blocks of code when they have curly  
braces by themselves. For example, given:
     while (getline(cin,str)) {
       ... lots of code here ...
they find it difficult to see the "while" line at a glance when trying to  
find the line that begins the block.

I personally find that, after using the above style for a while, you  
become accustomed to it and it becomes just as easy to locate the opening  
block despite the lack of a curly-brace on a line by itself. I greatly  
prefer the curly-brace-on-same-line style myself, to save on the vertical  
space. But that's the answer I've heard from every person who prefers the  
curly-brace-on-separate-line style--that it's easier to match up blocks of  

With regards to horizontal space, that's simply a tabs-versus-spaces  
argument. If you have your email reader tabstops set to four spaces, the  
horizontal space is identical in both. I'm sure you've heard that debate  
plenty of times, so I'll not repeat it here. :-)

	~ Ross

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