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The royal we

Permalink 05/14/09 at 11:08:54 am, by Ed, 228 words   English (US)
Categories: Work, Programming

I have noticed that when I program, my comments are in the royal first person, that is to say, the nosism of the royal "we".

An example from my ant hill application:

//If we are being attacked, only run away if we aren't already attacking somethinig else

I don't know if this is normal, or if I just assume that all my actor classes are monarchs. It seems presumptuous, I know, but it just seems like the best solution. If I said "I" instead, it sounds like the class is talking for itself, which it is not, (I am talking for it). Using "You" is no better. I'm not talking to the class, I am making the class.

Really, "we" is the only option that makes sense in the context, unless you wish to take the utilitarian and ultimately dehumanizing route of "it". This is not to say that classes are human in the first place. It removes some of the feeling of sentience from the class, which is fine if you're working on a plain ol' BigInteger class or what have you (though I tend to even give those guys personality). But when you're working on something as visual as an ant, it just destroys the suspension of disbelief. Yeah, I totally just used that phrase while talking about programming. Big whoop, you wanna fight about it?

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