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Re: New module: FLV file parsing

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December 3, 2005 03:34
Re: New module: FLV file parsing
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Austin Schutz writes:

> On Sat, Dec 03, 2005 at 08:30:20AM +0000, Smylers wrote:
> > [Austin wrote:]
> > 
> > > Do I care what it's called?
> > 
> > A large search results listing is one such place.  You want to be able
> > to pick out the potentially useful modules from the list, so having
> > their names be as meaningful as possible helps with this.
> 	If the module description is included the actual name provides
> some debatable amount of additional benefit.

But module names tend to be headings, what draw your attention in first.
Yes, descriptions often help to clarify things, but a good name is
obviously more useful than a poor one.  Sometimes it's hard to find a
name that is intuitive, but there doesn't seem to be any point in
choosing to 'waste' part of the name on an abbreviation that nobody at
all thinks is meaningful.

> FF:: is a good example.  ... it should make little difference as long
> as the description is concise, descriptive, and accurate.

You say "If ..." above.  Not everywhere that mentions a module name has
its description next to it (in code, for example).

In the same way that it's better to code clearly without comments, than
to code obscurely and have to add comments explaining what you mean,
it's helpful for module names to be clear even without their

> > Since "FF" is meaningless, why bother including it at all?  It's just
> > noise.
> 	For two reasons - grouping of related modules under the FF::
> heading,

But I'm claiming that they _aren't_ related merely by being
file formats.  The fact that they are file formats isn't the most
relevant thing about them.

> and to avoid the top level issue you state below.

Except that I pointed out that this isn't an issue: it's a meme that has
been misinterpreted from what the advice on Pause says.  There in
general isn't a problem with inventing a new top-level namespace for a
new category of modules.

What's frowned upon is giving a module only a single-level name.  So
hogging FLV is antisocial, but opening up FLV:: by using FLV::Something
is perfectly acceptable, even encouraged.

> > it's good if the approximate use of a module is guessable just from
> > the calling code.
> 	Yes, I agree, but would emphasize "approximate".

Right, so let's try to make module names as meaningful as possible, and
not include meaningless bits in them.

> > Or to put it another way round: if a meaningful name is available, what's the
> > advantage of going out of your way to pick an acknowledged meaningless one?
> 	I have not suggested "going out of your way" to pick a meaningless
> one.

I'd claim that renaming FLV::Info to FF:FLV would be -- the module
already has one name and changing it would be putting effort in to
including the term "FF", which everybody agrees is meaningless.

> I believe the ongoing debates reduce the utility of the module authors
> mailing list, and therein lies my concern. If there were a separate
> mailing list dedicated to module naming those concerned with proper
> names could debate to their satisfaction and allow the authors list to
> concentrate on other module related issues.
> 	Would that be an equitable solution?

I wouldn't object to it, but I suspect it isn't worth the hassle of
setting it up (and that having 2 lists would just add to the levels of
confusion, and people would end up posting the 'wrong' sort of question
to each list anyway).

This mailing list isn't very high traffic as it is.  Nearly all
participants are using decent mail or news clients, such that proper
threading is preserved.  This makes it relatively easy to avoid an
entire thread that you're not interested in -- there have been plenty of
threads here that I've skipped cos they don't happen to be my kind of
thing, but I don't doubt that this is a good place for them to exist.

May God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a
difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.

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