Alert: Desperate Keystroke Scarcity!

missing keys

Fellow developers, we rarely have to rally around immediate crises in our profession but an urgent one has come to my attention so I am broadcasting it here to spread awareness as much as possible.

We have a desperate shortage of keystrokes! Developers the world over have been treating keystrokes like they are a renewable resource. It's time to wake up and to conserve!

The Solution: Abbreviations

Thankfully we have a solution at hand: abbreviations. When writing code, never write an English word the way it's normally written. Always take an extra step to translate it into a different symbol. Single or double-letter abbreviations are ideal but any time u can transform a recognizable word into something else, it's a win.

Abbreviations r especially suitable because:

  • No one else ever reads ur code.
  • You never read your own code again because it works perfectly on the first try.
  • It's inherently easier to read code than to write it. That's why we call it "code".
  • You may read code only once (if that) but you rewrite code dozens of times. For this reason u should optimize for making code-writing easier at the expense of code-reading.

Abbreviation Translation Table

Pls refer to this table for suggested abbrvtns when writing code. Note there is no reverse tbl because abbreviations r always obvious in meaning.

Comprehensible WordAbbreviation
callbackcb
indexi
parameterparam
privatepriv
requestreq
responseres
transactiontx
any wordx

Functional Performance

It's not just about style—saving keystrokes actually has prf impacts on the functioning of code. This is mainly bc of memory limitations. Consider two of the most popular platforms today:

  • the Apple //e has only 1 MB of RAM
  • the IBM PC has only 256 KB of RAM

Extra keystrokes in variable names use up precious RAM leaving less memory available for program data.

Developer Exertion

More important than functional performance is the impact that saving keystrokes has on developers. Developer attention is the crtcl factor in modern productivity so it's particularly imprtnt to consdr ergonomics and physiology. Moving fingers small distances to press keys while sitting in a chair is physically exhausting. Surveys have shown that devs who save keystrokes through the use of abbrvtns have been able to smash thru the common six hour limit and now have enuf nrgy to wrk a full eight hour workday!

bonus strategy: use only lowercase letters

demonstrating the power of creativity when faced with challenging prblms, some devs have also dscvrd the incrdble conservation benefits that come from ignoring the shift key. progress has been made in enrolling non-developers nto the wisdom of a mono-case world. i recommend the following guidelines to ease ignorant people into this wisdom. suggest explicitly or simply imply that only lowercase is appropriate in the following situations:

  • passwords
  • email addresses (this is especially important when email addresses contain proper nouns such as people's names)
  • domain names
  • everything else

the use of uppercase letters is fine in the traditional contxt of handwriting but when usng a keyboard you shld always avoid pressng the shift key. just look at how much bggr it is than the other kys. that's significant svngs!

pls sprd awarness of ths crisis n solns so tht togethr we cn keep r favort profession sustainbl.


David Braun

David Braun


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