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Compactness Considered Harmful

04.04.2007
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        the guys over @ http://101out.com/optimize_html_size.html have a nice post about writing compact code to ‘give your site that edge’ (my words) by compacting the hell out of your html and css. Sound as it sounds, it may very well not be what you want, or need.

for coding means authoring, writing, creating engines that do work. meaningful work, at the least working around meaning. your snippets count. they’re also a technology that is about posterity, and be that the next day. even if you don't plan your work, you still have some sort of goal when doing it, a future state. 

there's a reason for most programming languages to be readable. however, programming and natural languages alike are but slate for chalk. so while it is perfectly possible to say `vals1=parms[:attrs]`, in most cases code like `attributiveValues=parameters[:attributes]` can assist you and others in reading, understanding, & writing code that makes that more sense. 

in other words, so that others may better undestand me, i try to use language in a way that is less terse and cryptic than some of the usage that bytecount-aficionadós defer to. you'll be soon outgrown by tomorrow’s technologies if your hard work goes into maxing out byte efficency by hand. consider how much you can squeeze out of a webpage in turns of size. a few thousand bytes. i'm not talking about oversized `*.jpg`s here, those are still chunky. i talk about your `*.js`es, your `*.html`s and your `*.py`s. look, you squeeezed those bytes out of 
.top-left-div{border-width:1px}
 so now it reads 
.tld{border-width:1px}
, and with 8-odd bytes still dripping from your fingers, you *forget* about that, it’s *history* to you. 

meanwhile, some nerd has installed a freifunk wifi repeater in your street, meaning that the increased efficiency of your ambience means a far bigger increase in website availability than what your lexical shortcircuiting achieved. 

back in the future, generations write many commentaries about the possible hidden semantics in css class `.tld`. did those guys really plan to take over a `top-level-domain` and thrive on `http://*.music` as soon as back in 2007? five years before they did? who knows? 

this is not against abbreviations. my own code is full of `*P`s and `**Q`s, what would be `*args` and `**kwargs` much anywhere else. when i find i can establish a useful convention, i do that. so, maybe think it this way: are those `attributes` worth of being called the `A`s here and elsewhere? if you’re sure, go for it. you just saved 9 times repetitions bytes, that may add up to a lot. if you hate that much typing, get yourself a word completing ide (see, another abbr). but drop those `attrs` and `attribs`.