Thursday, October 23, 2014

MakerSquare Day 41: Commas; or, Masonry, Part 2 (9/3)

Oh, I remembered the joke I was going to use yesterday--and it wasn't actually that good.
Oscar Wilde comes into the pub at lunch, looking exhausted.
"Hard morning of work?" asks the publican.
"Yes," says Oscar, "I spent all morning putting a comma in."
Oscar has lunch, leaves, and comes back for dinner, looking exhausted.
"Hard afternoon of work?" asks the publican.
"Yes," says Oscar, "I spent all morning taking that comma out."
There are (as I've said before) some big similarities between comma world and coding world; and, in fact, a lot of today has felt like some version of this Wilde joke. Like:
"Oh, I should add in a section on all pages that will be blank unless there's been an error and that section could report the error."
Then, later:
"Hey, I just implemented a section for good messages under my section for error messages. Why not just make a section for messages and pass in any messsage--good or bad?"
That's not the only example of an added comma/removed comma shuffle. And I won't lie, I understand why Wilde might be so exhausted after a morning and afternoon wrestling with a comma. He feels--and I feel--exhausted because it is exhausting.

So why keep doing it? Because Wilde and I are secretly masochists who like torturing ourselves? No. Well, maybe a bit of that. But mostly because this thing that we're so exhausted by--we're making it better by playing with it.

Alternate possibility: Maybe Wilde just didn't know how to use a comma correctly?

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