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home > news > java technology > the horstmann brace style

The Horstmann Brace Style

Now here's a topic on which everybody has an opinion—brace styles. One common style is named after Kernighan and Ritchie: if (x < 0) { printf("Negative\n"); x = -x; } Another one is named after Eric Allman: if (x < 0) { printf("Negative\n"); x = -x; } Each style has a clear advantage. The K&R style uses fewer lines. In the Allman style, the braces line up. When I first learned to program in C, in the mid 1980s, there were vigorous arguments about this issue. I was confused because it seemed obvious to me how to combine the benefits of both. if (x < 0) { printf("Negative\n"); x = -x; } The braces line up. There is no wasted line. Problem solved. I used this style for about 20 years. It even appeared in a few of my books, including the first couple of editions of Core Java which, according to my editor, sold about as many copies as K&R. Unfortunately, I was never able to convert many coders (as we were called in the olden days). A typical dialog would be: Me: “Look at the brace style I invented. Here! See how the braces line up?” Coder: “No, no, no. When the braces line up, you waste a line. That's called the 'Allman style'.” Me: “I know what the Allman style is. But I modified it. Look closely. No wasted space!” Coder: “That's too weird.” Me: “Are you going to use it?” Coder: ”No!!!” Eventua...


Date: June, 28 2010
Url: http://www.java.net/blog/cayhorstmann/archive/2010/06/28/horstmann-brace-style


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