Typing is not the problem

You used to write CSS

body {
  font: 12px Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;
}

And then Stylus came along

body
  font 12px Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif

cssondiet and typing font was too much

body {
  fo- 12px Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif
}

The programming world has been working hard to save keystrokes: those darn { and ; are disappearing by the hour.

But short is not simple. Typing is not the problem.

The complexity of programming is conceptual. You don’t solve a problem of complexity by reducing the number of characters on a page.

Ever wondered why vim doesn’t start in insert mode? It’s because programmers spend a minority of their time writing code and the majority thinking, debugging, and editing away their mistakes.

Trade the energy of using preprocessors and remembering the meaning of variables named z weeks after naming them, and spend it on documentation, tests, and contemplating modes of failure. Write code in full words and sentences of thought, with English in between. It’s good for the future, good for maintenance, and will save time in the long run.

Posted Jan 19, 2015 Tweet / Follow me on Twitter

Tom MacWright

I'm . I work on tools for creativity at Mapbox. This is where I write about technology and everything else.