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C Style: Standards and Guidelines (contents)

CHAPTER 2 : Psychological Factors

PART 1 : BASICS

CHAPTER 2 : Psychological Factors

2.1 Pattern Recognition
2.2 Filtering
2.3 Habit
2.4 Redundancy
2.5 Cues and Context
2.6 Recognizing Basic features
2.7 Short Term, Working and Long Term memory
2.8 Chunking
2.9 The Rule of Seven
2.10 Context Switching
2.11 Modifying the image
2.12 Memorizing sounds
2.13 Eye focus
2.14 Eye movement
2.15 Looking ahead
2.16 Looking back
2.17 The subconscious is always right
2.18 Natural ambition
2.19 Summary

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2.4 Redundancy

In any given pattern, there is usually a lot of redundant information:

 

Cxn yxx rxxd thxs sxntxnce?

 

Cn y rd ths sntnc?

 

You can probably easily read the first example. The second one takes more effort, as more information has been removed from it (both say, "Can you read this sentence?"). As more and more 'redundant' information is removed, it becomes more and more difficult to read the sentence, and consequently easier to make mistakes.

Similarly, much of the context which can help to make a program more easily understandable (such as comments and long variable names) can be removed; the program can still be understood - but with more effort and with the consequent greater probability of error.

 

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