2011-02-27

Commit messages indicate what programming languages make people swear the most

Cussing in Commits: Which Programming Language Inspires the Most Swearing?” is a great read. It refers to someone who has analyzed commit messages on GitHub to determine which programming language caused committers to swear the most.
The ranking is as follows (quoting from the post):
  • C++ takes top honors, but just barely.
  • Ruby and JavaScript are neck and neck behind C++.
  • After that it drops off considerably with C, Java and C# placing in the middle.
  • Python and PHP developers are either very happy about using those languages, or perhaps just very mild-mannered developers.
Thoughts:
  • The top swearword-inducing programming languages are those that give you many different ways of doing the same thing. Be it DSL-supporting language constructs in Ruby or patterns in JavaScript. My guess is that these programming languages tend to accentuate programming style. Programming style being an emotional topic, this leads to strong reactions.
    • I find it hard to get past my own taste. One example that is actually minor, but always gets me, is where people put the opening brace (e.g. in Java or JavaScript). I hate it when it isn’t in the same line as the brace-opening statement. Yet there is no rational reason for this, just my taste. To me, it just looks wrong.
  • A problem with JavaScript might also be that many people don’t really understand the language yet. If you are aware of the quirks and oddities, it starts to make sense. This will get better, because the stated goal for future versions is quirk-elimination.
  • I don’t trust programmers who swear a lot. It often has to do with ignorance. Yes, you hate that piece of code, but there is a reason it is there. Even very good programmers frequently write bad code. My own experience is that only iterations and code reviews lead to good code.
  • The article’s favorite commit message: “fuck it. let’s release.”. Funny.
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