[PATCH 4/4] whitespace changes

Jim Knoble jmknoble at pobox.com
Sat Dec 25 08:41:48 AEDT 2021

> On Dec 23, 2021, at 21:36, David Newall <openssh at davidnewall.com> wrote:
> From style.9: "These guidelines should be followed for all new code."  It's not new code.
> Why change it?  It helps not one whit but it does hurt.

Best practice for line-length, whitespace, and other style changes is:

(1) When changing a source file with legacy style, update the file to confirm to current style guidelines. This keeps tech debt from metastasizing. 

(2) When making style changes, *put them in a separate change*.  Combining style changes and semantic changes means that, as has been pointed out, changes are difficult to review in order to find the actual semantic change.  Unit tests can also be run to detect any errors or regression the style change might include. 

(2.1) Ideally, style changes should be made by automated tooling rather than manually. (Ideally ideally, the configuration/invocation for the automated tooling should be included in the source repo along with the code).

(3) Generally, make the style change first, then the semantic change. This enables tech debt reduction to happen even if the semantic change is rejected or delayed.


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