Seeking philosophical guidance on library interface design.

Dar Scott Consulting dsc at swcp.com
Thu Apr 25 14:29:10 EDT 2019


Coming in late...

For bread-and-butter code, B.

For software development, A.

But, really, my response is C.

Dar


> On Apr 23, 2019, at 5:01 PM, Alex Tweedly via use-livecode <use-livecode at lists.runrev.com> wrote:
> 
> Hi folks,
> 
> I'm building a library (which I plan to release as Open Source), and I'm having trouble trying to decide which approach to take with default values.
> 
> The library is to produce XY graphs (charts). An app which is using it will provide one or more sets of data to be plotted. The app can also *optionally* provide additional parameters, such as
> 
>  - display tick-marks on each axis
> 
>  - display grid lines along each axis
> 
>  - label the ticks / grids (e.g. display label every 5 ticks)
> 
> etc.
> 
> Without going into each one of them, there is an overall "phlosophy" chioce
> 
> A - should the default be that the produced graph be simple (e.g. no ticks, no labels, etc.)
> 
> or
> 
> B  - should the default be to try to find reasonable / possible values (e.g. set a value for ticks such that they appear, say, more than 10 pixels apart, but less than 100 pixels apart; that you label every 2nd-5th tick, ...)
> 
> A is appealing because it means that the library isn't making guesses, often dumb guesses, on your behalf; you see a blank, sparse graph, and can then, as app developer, provide additional parameters to supply info you think will help. But it is unappealing because the graphs are just *so* empty by default.
> 
> B is appealing because it feels like it is being helpful, and will (try to) produce a reasonable looking graph as best it can.
> 
> 
> So - I'd welcome any suggestions, comments, design philosophy ideas ?
> 
> Thanks
> 
> Alex.
> 
> 
> 
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