[swift-dev] Using git-clang-format in the Swift compiler code base.

Andrew Trick atrick at apple.com
Thu Jan 26 04:07:39 CST 2017

Before I pull in a large PR that "accidentally" reformats a bunch of code, I want to get feedback on how Swift compiler devs plan to use `clang-format`. (BTW, here's the PR https://github.com/apple/swift/pull/6922).

During the code review, I ran `git clang-format` as part of being a good citizen. There's only one problem with the tool. It rewraps long boolean expressions, hiding those unsightly operators at the end of lines (after all who wants to see those?).

        if (some_expression->with_calls() ||
            another_expression->with(nested_calls()) &&

I don't get involved in style wars, but this is not a style change, it's an objective code quality degradation. It's a demonstrably bug-prone thing to do. It's hurt me too many times in the past, and I'm not happy using a formatting tool that injects future bugs and harms code comprehension.

When the LLVM coding style was originally ratified, this aspect was left up to individual preference and didn't get any discussion AFAIK. I think
clang-format then ended up with a `BreakBeforeBinaryOperators: None` style out of sheer inertia. 

So, how should I use clang-format on Swift compiler code? Vote please.

** Option 1: Add a simple configuration option to swift/.clang-format:

1a. BreakBeforeBinaryOperators: All

1b. BreakBeforeBinaryOperators: NonAssignment

I have absolutely no preference between 1a and 1b. It's purely style.

SomeLongTypeName someLongVariableName =

SomeLongTypeName someLongVariableName
  = someLongExpression();

** Option 2: Contributors each tweak clang-format according to their (in my case strong) bias:

My own command line:
2a. " --style "{BasedOnStyle: LLVM, BreakBeforeBinaryOperators: All}"
2b. " --style "{BasedOnStyle: LLVM, BreakBeforeBinaryOperators: NonAssignment}"

** Option 3: Don't bother using clang-format.

Let emacs do its indentation thing. Embrace idiosyncrasies in the code base.


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