For what it’s worth, my opinion on the changes. It’s mostly negative (warning, 100% subjective unless marked):
I like this convention too. Keeps together functions heads that belong to the same function, which directs my eyes to logical groups of clauses. But the new output doesn’t shock me, except for the problem of taking more space.
Like @AstonJ said above, this might increase readability a little, I don’t know. But it does take away more vertical screen space for sure, which is a bad thing. I’m not sure whether the negatives outweigh the positives here. The question of taking up more space is the only “objective” argument I want to bring to the table. Maybe the trade-off is worth it, and maybe it isn’t but wasting valuable vertical screen space is not just a matter of personal preference
No opinion on this one. Brackets or no brackets, any choice would be ok.
Please don’t… This is one of those places where the programmer’s intent is expressed through formatting. Sometimes,
12_000 is more readable than
12000, sometimes it’s the opposite. I think this should be left up to the programmer. Sometimes you want
1200, sometimes you may want
1_200 and sometimes
12_00 (value in cents, or something like that).
Or is it one of the goals of the formatter to make sure that two blocks of code that compile to the same AST (module line numbers) will always produce the same output? If this is a goal to aim for, then I think I can accept the disruption of the underscores.
This takes up more valuable screen space for very little benefit, I think. What’s the reasoning behind this rule?
There are some obvious improvements in the source that @Crowdhailer didn’t bother to mention, like minor whitespace issues, and for those things the formatter is great.
My main argument against this might be a vague personal distaste against prescriptive code formatters: everybody prefers to edit text instead of AST nodes directly, but then we make all this effort to make the code as uniform as possible to preserve consistency. It’s almost as if we should have been writing AST nodes all along? Or Lisp? You don’t get many discussions on how to format that…
Finally, despite what I’ve said above, having a code formatter is pretty cool, especially if it can convert from AST to code, because it opens up exciting possibilities for code transformation tools that are aware of the AST. This can be useful for project generators, because it would make it easier to add code to the middle of a module and even for refactoring tools. It would make changing a module name over the whole code base almost trivial, for example: It could just compile the modules, replace the appropriate alias and write the changes to disk. It might have some corner cases I’m not aware of, but it would certainly make this kind of thing much easier. It would produce nice diffs, of course, because the code would have been formatted already. For renaming a function it wouldn’t go as well:
variable = MyModuleAlias
new_variable = variable.function_i_want_to_rename(arg)
or even worse:
def f(my_dynamic_module_alias, arg) do
but with the help of
mix xref or even access to the elixir manifests or the erlang core output it might make a passable job. I hope the formatter will be made available as a standalone tool that can be used on the AST for these purposes.
Having a code formatter that is well tested and guarantees it’ll keep the semantic meaning of the code is much better than not having one, no matter how much I disagree with the space-wasting “features”.