SAX2: DTDDeclHandler (minimalist position)

roddey at roddey at
Tue Mar 30 01:13:54 BST 1999

>> This creates four menmonic constants you want and gives them a checkable
>> type.  New constants can't be created because of the private
>> And there's no chance that anybody's going to write code like
>>   if (getAttributeStatus() == 1) {
>>    doSomething();
>>   }
>> Programmers are more or less forced to use the constants. What do you
>> think?
>I personally take a very dim view of systems trying to "force" programmers
>into intrinsically good practices.  Programmers can abuse any system you
>present, and at some point you have to accept that they are adults, and
>be free to cut off their own noses if they wish.
>The good programming practice of replacing "magic numbers" with
>constants is even older than the structured programming movement, and any
>programmer who writes

But that's not really the point I don't think. The point isn't "if you are
as macho a programmer as me you don't need any help". The point is that we
work in a commercial environment and every single semantic that can be
expressed in the code itself, so that the compiler can tell you when break
them, is a Very Goode Thinge.

It does no good at all to have a named constant if you can accidentally
pass that named constant to 150 other things for which its not intended and
the compiler cannot catch it. Its a fundamental lacking in Java that makes
me shudder to think that people actually want to do serious work in it.

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