minutes of ESC call ...

Lubos Lunak l.lunak at collabora.com
Wed Dec 10 06:54:27 PST 2014

On Monday 08 of December 2014, Bjoern Michaelsen wrote:
> Hi Lubos,
> On Fri, Dec 05, 2014 at 06:46:17PM +0100, Lubos Lunak wrote:
> > On Thursday 04 of December 2014, Michael Meeks wrote:
> > > * Large scale renames (Kendy)
> >
> > ...
> >
> > >         + if cleanup there; perhaps some improved naming too.
> >
> > http://qt-project.org/wiki/API-Design-Principles#d8bc4b5cb3e68ae6e38b29e3
> >71b7f734 would be a very worthwhile reading here.
> good link, thanks! I think the problem -- at least in Writer -- is a bit
> deeper, no only naming: the classes in sw/ have somewhat muddy purposes and
> arent too well defined in their scope. The naming is just the topping on
> the cake (What is a SwFmtFrmSize and how is (if at all) it related to a
> SwFrmFmt?).

 I would agree that unfortunately the problem indeed is deeper, to the core 
issue that code written poorly in some way attacts more code written poorly. 
So when we inherited this codebase from OOo, we also inherited code that's 
poorly named, poorly commented, poorly documented (et cetera). And with that, 
we also inherited a culture where all that is perfectly fine and acceptable, 
which was realistically inevitable if we wanted to actually get something 
done with the code.

 The bad part is that since it's fine and normal to have such poorly done 
code, it's also fine to keep with that tradition and continue producing new 
code that has the same flaws. Just look at some of the newly written code, 
such as Clang plugins (I explicitly documented the purpose of each of mine 
ones, but when I looked recently I either could guess from the name or 
decipher it from the code) or the OpenGL VCL backend (the main class there 
has functions DrawLine() and drawLine(), and yes, they differ).

 So if you treat this only as a problem of some localized code, you may end up 
in a situation of fixing up old code while new code gets written in a form 
that immediately qualifies them for a such cleanup as well.

> IMHO, the best way out of this mess would be to:
> 1/ find groups of around ~5 classes as a batch and define (and
> doxygen-document) the single responsiblity of each of those well. It likely
> makes sense to refer to the old "::SwFoo StarOffice/OpenOffice.org class
> name" in doxygen too.
> 2/ move this set of classes a name matching the defined responsiblity in
>    namespace sw
> That would mean we would try to start some consistent well-scoped naming in
> namespace sw, while the global (top-level) namespace still contains the old
> wild west naming. And them we would step by step grow the pocket by adding
> stuff in a ordered fashion to it.

 Given what I wrote above, I think this should start by first actually writing 
down somewhere what the new proper state of things should be. Otherwise 
nobody will know what the code ideally should look like, given that people 
either can write code based on what the existing code looks like (where the 
current code is pathetic when it comes to these criteria) or what some kind 
of OOo resource like the OOo coding style says (which is just as pathetic) or 
on their idea of what a good code should look like (which, to put it bluntly, 
is probably not that good either, given the above). And then require it for 
new commits. I'm generally not a big fan of being strict with rules (and it 
certainly can be taken too far, try e.g. to submit a patch to Clang), but 
then apparently the situation won't change on its own, if it hasn't in the 
last 4 years.

 Or, alternatively, we can just accept the fact that this codebase will in 
some aspects suck forever.

 Lubos Lunak
 l.lunak at collabora.com

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