Readability vs. Typability 
Author Message
 Readability vs. Typability

Hi,

We all know most decent coders can type in 10 finger
system or at least at some similar speed.

Now imagine you would have to code on
(not just for, ON!) a mobile phone or a console  -
e.g. a device with a very limited keyboard.
You would have to repeatedly press number keys
or move an cursor over an virtual keyboard to "type"
a char.
Setting special chars would require more keypresses
than letters.

On such an environment, would you prefer either
a) some verbose language, like Pascal:

begin
   for x:=1 to 10 do
     begin
       Writeln('This is a test');
       SubFunc(x);
     end;
end;

b) a more compact language (with more non-letters!),
  like C:

{
  for (x=1;x<11;x++)
     {
       cout << "This is a test/n";
       SubFunc(x);
     }

Quote:
}

or
c) a harder to read language optimized on
compact code and little special chars like:

b
   f x 1 10
     b
     w This is a test
     c SubFunc x
     e
e
--
                                   Andreas
He screamed: THIS IS SIG!



Tue, 27 Dec 2005 02:46:32 GMT  
 Readability vs. Typability

Quote:

> We all know most decent coders can type in 10 finger
> system or at least at some similar speed.

> Now imagine you would have to code on
> (not just for, ON!) a mobile phone or a console  -
> e.g. a device with a very limited keyboard.
> You would have to repeatedly press number keys
> or move an cursor over an virtual keyboard to "type"
> a char.
> Setting special chars would require more keypresses
> than letters.

> On such an environment, would you prefer either
> a) some verbose language, like Pascal:

> begin
>    for x:=1 to 10 do
>      begin
>        Writeln('This is a test');
>        SubFunc(x);
>      end;
> end;

Who *prefers* Pascal anyway? ;-)

- Show quoted text -

Quote:
> b) a more compact language (with more non-letters!),
>   like C:

> {
>   for (x=1;x<11;x++)
>      {
>        cout << "This is a test/n";
>        SubFunc(x);
>      }
> }

> or
> c) a harder to read language optimized on
> compact code and little special chars like:

> b
>    f x 1 10
>      b
>      w This is a test
>      c SubFunc x
>      e
> e

Yuck.  You wanna write vi stuff, write it in vi.
I vote for (d) an easy-to-read language with pre-defined
keywords, as in any modern handheld language (think TI-Basic).

   :For(X,1,10)
   :Disp "This is a test"
   :End

(except that the addition of auto-indent would be nice, as
long as you could turn it off and the extra whitespace didn't
take up any disk space).

Check www.ti.com for what I consider to be a very elegant programming
system, the TI-83/+.  They've got your limited keyboard right here,
baby!

-Arthur



Tue, 27 Dec 2005 03:32:02 GMT  
 Readability vs. Typability

Quote:

>    :For(X,1,10)
>    :Disp "This is a test"
>    :End

For those who aren't familiar with the TI-83, the
above program takes about 34 keystrokes, comparable
to the C version.

On a real 12-key cell phone, you'd have to type a
bit more because you probably wouldn't get a single
key for each letter.  (Incidentally, for those
non-Usanians here, is the mapping of letters to
numbers like this in other countries?  Non-English-speaking
countries?)

  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   0
     ABC DEF GHI JKL MNO PRS TUV WXY
  (with Q and Z somewhere reasonable)

-Arthur



Tue, 27 Dec 2005 03:39:10 GMT  
 Readability vs. Typability

Quote:

> Now imagine you would have to code on
> (not just for, ON!) a mobile phone or a console  -
> e.g. a device with a very limited keyboard.
> You would have to repeatedly press number keys
> or move an cursor over an virtual keyboard to "type"
> a char.
> Setting special chars would require more keypresses
> than letters.

> On such an environment, would you prefer either
> a) some verbose language, like Pascal:
> b) a more compact language (with more non-letters!),
> c) a harder to read language optimized on
> compact code and little special chars like:

> b
>    f x 1 10
>      b
>      w This is a test
>      c SubFunc x
>      e
> e

Two answers:

Answer 1:

d) Switch development environment and use Pascal crosscompiling. Fix the
codegenerator myself if I had too :_)

Answer 2:
That would depend on the problem at hand.



Tue, 27 Dec 2005 06:01:03 GMT  
 Readability vs. Typability

Quote:

>>        Writeln('This is a test');
>>        SubFunc(x);
>>      end;
>> end;

> Who *prefers* Pascal anyway? ;-)

Usually sane people :_)


Tue, 27 Dec 2005 06:01:27 GMT  
 Readability vs. Typability

Quote:
> Hi,

> We all know most decent coders can type in 10 finger
> system or at least at some similar speed.

> Now imagine you would have to code on
> (not just for, ON!) a mobile phone or a console  -
> e.g. a device with a very limited keyboard.
> You would have to repeatedly press number keys
> or move an cursor over an virtual keyboard to "type"
> a char.
> Setting special chars would require more keypresses
> than letters.

> On such an environment, would you prefer either
> a) some verbose language, like Pascal:

> begin
>    for x:=1 to 10 do
>      begin
>        Writeln('This is a test');
>        SubFunc(x);
>      end;
> end;

> b) a more compact language (with more non-letters!),
>   like C:

> {
>   for (x=1;x<11;x++)
>      {
>        cout << "This is a test/n";
>        SubFunc(x);
>      }
> }

> or
> c) a harder to read language optimized on
> compact code and little special chars like:

> b
>    f x 1 10
>      b
>      w This is a test
>      c SubFunc x
>      e
> e

hmm, I have seen some possibly ok keyboards for handheld devices, but coding
on them would still suck. how about if one uses a 16 (or more, or less) key
keypad, and enters shorthand forms of a few letters which expand to the
longer forms (ex '3da') could expand to some user-defined key-macro, ie: the
first part of the name for a given library, or some commonly used function,
...

ok, I would think that the limits of the interface could limit the prog
langs that could be used. for many a restricted syntax may be needed. other
restrictions may be needed for others.

I have not really used these kinds of devices though, so I am not sure what
the experience would be like.

I don't know...



Thu, 29 Dec 2005 10:33:10 GMT  
 
 [ 6 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. Ada vs. C++ (Readability)

2. Efficiency and Nested Loops VS Readability

3. python vs. perl readability

4. stdcall vs c vs cdecl vs pascal vs whosyerdaddy

5. 68K vs CFM68K vs Tk 8.0.3 vs AppearanceLib vs System 7

6. MASM vs TASM vs VC++ vs DJGPP vs A*^ vs PCC vs DEBUG,, "Hello World!"

7. MASM vs TASM vs VC++ vs DJGPP vs A*^ vs PCC vs DEBUG,, "Hello World!"

8. APL glyphs and readability

9. Q: about readability of the source

10. Eiffel Readability Quirk

11. routines as default functions - for readability

12. Useful comments and readability

 

 
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software