On Jul 16, 2010, at 12:03 PM, Derek M Jones wrote:


I wrote about an interesting readability experiment here:
http://shape-of-code.coding-guidelines.com/2009/01/20/readability-an-experimental-view/

Thank you, but I am not sure that readability of short snippets
is the same thing as readability of "connected passages", and I'm
pretty sure that readability of 2-page programs is not the same
as readability of million-line programs.

Perhaps you could show them single statements and manipulate
the variables names, asking subjects to judge which was more
informative:
http://shape-of-code.coding-guidelines.com/2009/12/11/information-content-of-expressions/

That's an interesting thing to do, but what I _mean_ by
"readability" here doesn't have to do with familiarity or
agreeability or even speed of skimming.  The definition I
was tacitly using is something like
    "Difficulty of finding correct information while performing
    a simple maintenance task"
and to measure that, I think you have to get people to perform
a simple maintenance task, and that really does need bigger
examples.

I'm considering the possibility, you see, that unfamiliar code
in a style that people don't _like_ as much might (or of course
might _not_) be better for them.  One of the reasons for using
a pseudo-code is to avoid the curly brace wars.


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