Warning: This post contains rant and is short on actual reasoned arguments.

There are a number of things that are often considered bad practice in Java. These include static imports, star imports, shadowing, omitting braces, notUsingReallyLongVariableNames, etc. Also, many Java developers object to features like first class functions, operator overloading and type inference, because they might ‘overcomplicate’ the language and cause people to produce unreadable code.

Given that this is a post about concision, I will now shorten the above rules into a single rule:

It is bad practice to do anything which might cause you to write less code.

“Oh.” says the (hypothetical – I don’t think anyone actually reads this blog) reader, “Another whiner who doesn’t like typing. Just use an IDE!”

This is not about typing. I know perfectly well that the IDE can do ‘typing inference’ (so to speak). This is about reading. Making your code more verbose does not make it more readable. In many cases it makes it less readable because you’re hiding the actually important stuff inside layers of crap. Further, even when all of it is relevant, expressing it in an overly verbose way makes it much harder to take in.

Even ignoring the functional programming argument, I think the Java community and conventions would gain a lot by losing their fear of terse code.

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