David Green wrote: > I bet we actually don't disagree much; I'm not really against "ro" -- > I'm just not against "readonly" because of its length. If I were > writing casually, I'd use "rw" and "ro"; formally, I'd use "read only" > and "read/write" (or even "readable and writable"). At an in-between > level, which is where I believe we should be aiming, I think I'd put > "rw" and "read-only". I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe > psychologically, "ro" looks like it could be a word, whereas the > unpronounceable "rw" has to be an abbreviation? Or maybe it's just > because I see "rw" every day in ls output, but "ro" not so much. At any > rate, if I wanted to argue in favour of "ro", I think symmetry (which > you already mentioned) is the strongest argument.
Yes indeed, symmetry. It's powerful. Once you see "rw" you're going to assume the other is "ro". Same with "readonly" and "readwrite". And vice-versa and con-versa and any other versas you can think of. rw/readonly is the worst choice. It has that double wammy of bad interfaces: rote learning and counter-intuitiveness. Not only do you have to memorize that "read-only" is "readonly" and "read/write" is "ro" but you have to actively fight your intuition that they should be symmetrical. This generates mistakes. Constant mistakes. rw/ro makes similar things similar. So does readwrite/readonly. Pick one of them. Asymmetry will cause far more problems than too little or too much verbosity. -- ROCKS FALL! EVERYONE DIES! http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp05032002.shtml