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Re: [vox-tech] global variables in C
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Re: [vox-tech] global variables in C





Peter Jay Salzman wrote:

> ok, first i'd like to apologize for bringing up such a tired subject,
> but i'd like to understand this better.
>
> conventional wisdom says that you should avoid using globals.
>
> reading through some C books like the deitel book which is used at UCD
> and SAMS "C primer plus", i find that they don't really address this
> issue at all.  when i talk to people, i hear the same two reasons over
> and over:
>
> 1. name clashing
> 2. readability
>
> what i'd like to know is if this is all there is.  are there more
> reasons why we should follow conventional wisdom?  or is this more of a
> guiding principle and not something to be followed blindly?   it seems
> like for some applications, like GUI and multi-thread programming, the
> use of globals can really simplify things a lot.
>

There is a guiding principle concerning the use variables --
"Composite/Structural
Design" by G. J. Meyers; Published by Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, NY,
1978.

Meyers calls the sharing of variables between functions "coupling." He
assigned all the possible
ways functions can access variables to levels and gave each a term. From
worst to best:

1) Content coupling: having function A read/write a local variable of
function B.
(I don't think this can be done in C.)
2) Common coupling: having functions A and B share global variables.
(This is the second worst.)
3) Control coupling: having function A tell function B what to do.
4) Stamp coupling: having function A pass an entire structure to function
B.
(This is what the FILE abstract datatype does.)
5) Data coupling: having function B receive every input parameter on the
argument list.
(If every function does this, including main(), there will be no global
variables.)

Additionally, the scope of a function should be very limited. This goes
into the topic
Meyers calls "cohesion." If you follow the cohesion/coupling guidelines
religiously,
code maintenance becomes a breeze.

>
> please no sarcasm or flames -- just lucid explanations.  i'd like to
> understand this better.
>
> pete
>
> --
> Fingerprint: B9F1 6CF3 47C4 7CD8 D33E 70A9 A3B9 1945 67EA 951D
> _______________________________________________
> vox-tech mailing list
> vox-tech@lists.lugod.org
> http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox-tech

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