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Machine Gun Editing


Machine gun editing occurs when your keyboard starts sounding like a machine gun going off due to major refactoring or syntax changes.
Usually machine gun sounds don't occur often during programming, because programming is more about thinking than it is typing. However, there are many cases while editing larger source files that refactoring needs to be done, or a group of syntax changes needs to be done at once.

At this point, you start hammering away at your keyboard, and people start to walk into your room or office questioning the alarming machine gun sounds coming out of the area.

This occurs even when all doors and windows are closed in the room or office. Programmers who have a fast and heavy hand have even been known to disturb neighbors and people on different floors of the building while doing machine gun refactoring.

Don't be embarrassed about your machine gun editing skills. If you've figured out a way to maneuver your thumb over to one key, while holding your pinky on another key, and having 6-8 fingers spread out on other keys, while typing at about 120 WPM on your source file, then do it with pride.

One technique when fixing indenting levels or missing spaces, for example, is to have your left index finger over the delete key, while your right index finger is on the left arrow, while your middle finger is on the down arrow. If your editor can do a lot of indenting for you automatically, you won't need to do this often (CTRL-K-I and CTRL-K-U, or tab),. However, some source code files are awkward and need custom machine gun editing in order to put them back into neat order. For example if a space is left out in several places in front of a comma or an equal sign, and a regex just doesn't work fast enough for you -sometimes it's just better to machine gun edit it on the spot.


Machine gun editing also occurs when you are not programming. When typing paragraphs and paragraphs (like on a wiki or in documentation), the keyboard usually gets hammered out and abused. When machine gun editing noises occur from someone's office quite often, you will know that they are not programming - they are probably typing an article. Either that, or they are a serious refactorer.

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