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Having a main function is bad per se, I myself use them although with a signature that makes it callable as a module level function. if __name__ == "__main__": main(sys.argv[1:]) It is really nice to be able to run python code inprocess w/o having to shell out. If main() assumes it takes its parameters from sys.argv it effectively makes the code non-callable at the module level. Passing the name of the executable shouldn't be part of the calling convention, hence the slice. Now instead of calling the entry point `main`, it could have a more descriptive name ...
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Kent and Rudolf are correct. There isn't enough semantic content in a line oriented diff. Actually there is a lack of semantic content in much of what we do as programmers. Single line commit messages and chatter on IRC. Refactorings used to hard and occurred less often, now they are easy and our diffs are less valuable. If an organization puts value on the diff, then it could be a drag on the rate of refactoring. Reviewing diffs was the quality gate before unit testing became prevalent. Not only do we need to record operations against the code, but we need to have operations be transactional against the codebase in terms of our intent, the operations against the code and finally the unit tests which ensure the validity of that code modifying transaction. To be able to view those refactorings, I could see a tool that measures mutation, coupling, interface surface area, etc. It could give a qualitative/quantitative score based on a variety of metrics. This system could ensure that a codebase continues to have a cohesiveness of mind; that is doesn't turn into a camel farm.
Toggle Commented Apr 8, 2012 on The Tyranny of the Diff at Michael Feathers
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Apr 8, 2012