TheDcoder

Constants: Do they have any advantage over variables?

39 posts in this topic

#1 ·  Posted (edited)

I just thought of this... Do Constants and Variables have any differences other than Constants cannot be changed? I know that Python does not have such things like Constants... But is there a difference between them? any advantages when using Constants whenever we can?

The uses of Constants which I have discovered so far are:

  1. Coding practices (You know what things are not supposed to be changed while the program is running).
  2. Preventing code from modifying their value.

So, is there anything more than what meets the eye? I think the developers of AutoIt can answer this question.

Edited by TheDcoder
Minor Sentence Edit

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8 hours ago, TheDcoder said:
  • Coding practices (You know what things are not supposed to be changed while the program is running).
  • Coding practices - Magic Number prevention + readability
  • Creating a more agile code, easy to change management/development concept.
  • Preventing code from modifying their value.

just my 2c

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I encourage you to read: * Global Vars * Best Coding Practices * Please explain code used in Help file for several File functions * OOP-like approach in AutoIt * UDF-Spec Questions *  EXAMPLE: How To Catch ConsoleWrite() output to a file or to CMD *

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:naughty:  :ranting:, be  :) and       \\//_.

Anticipating Errors :  "Any program that accepts data from a user must include code to validate that data before sending it to the data store. You cannot rely on the data store, ...., or even your programming language to notify you of problems. You must check every byte entered by your users, making sure that data is the correct type for its field and that required fields are not empty."

 

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@mLipok I forgot those 2 :P, Thanks for mentioning them :).


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oh, yeah :P


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A smart compiler can optimise memory storage better if it knows in advance that a particular subset of variables will not ever be resized. This can reduce fragmentation of virtual memory.

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@RTFC I'ts interesting.
 


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Any of my own code posted anywhere on the forum is available for use by others without any restriction of any kind. 

My contribution (my own projects): * Debenu Quick PDF Library - UDF * Debenu PDF Viewer SDK - UDF * Acrobat Reader - ActiveX Viewer * UDF for PDFCreator v1.x.x * XZip - UDF * AppCompatFlags UDF * CrowdinAPI UDF * _WinMergeCompare2Files() * _JavaExceptionAdd() * _IsBeta() * Writing DPI Awareness App - workaround * _AutoIt_RequiredVersion() * Chilkatsoft.au3 UDF * TeamViewer.au3 UDF * JavaManagement UDF * VIES over SOAPPOP3.au3 UDF *  RTF Printer - UDF * XML.au3 - BETA * ADO.au3 UDF SMTP Mailer UDF * WinSCP UDF *

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Useful links: * Forum Rules * Forum etiquette *  Forum Information and FAQs * How to post code on the forum * AutoIt Online Documentation * AutoIt Online Beta Documentation * SciTE4AutoIt3 getting started * Convert text blocks to AutoIt code * Games made in Autoit * Programming related sites * Polish AutoIt Tutorial * DllCall Code Generator * 

Wiki: Expand your knowledge - AutoIt Wiki * Collection of User Defined Functions * How to use HelpFile * Best coding practices * 

IE Related:  * How to use IE.au3  UDF with  AutoIt v3.3.14.x * Why isn't Autoit able to click a Javascript Dialog? * Clicking javascript button with no ID * IE document >> save as MHT file * IETab Switcher (by LarsJ ) * HTML Entities *

I encourage you to read: * Global Vars * Best Coding Practices * Please explain code used in Help file for several File functions * OOP-like approach in AutoIt * UDF-Spec Questions *  EXAMPLE: How To Catch ConsoleWrite() output to a file or to CMD *

"Homo sum; humani nil a me alienum puto" - Publius Terentius Afer
"Program are meant to be read by humans and only incidentally for computers and execute" - Donald Knuth, "The Art of Computer Programming"
:naughty:  :ranting:, be  :) and       \\//_.

Anticipating Errors :  "Any program that accepts data from a user must include code to validate that data before sending it to the data store. You cannot rely on the data store, ...., or even your programming language to notify you of problems. You must check every byte entered by your users, making sure that data is the correct type for its field and that required fields are not empty."

 

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1 hour ago, JohnOne said:

Those 2 are no different than variables.

Yes but 2 can be used secure only with 4.

 


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Spoiler

Last update: 2017-03-27
Any of my own code posted anywhere on the forum is available for use by others without any restriction of any kind. 

My contribution (my own projects): * Debenu Quick PDF Library - UDF * Debenu PDF Viewer SDK - UDF * Acrobat Reader - ActiveX Viewer * UDF for PDFCreator v1.x.x * XZip - UDF * AppCompatFlags UDF * CrowdinAPI UDF * _WinMergeCompare2Files() * _JavaExceptionAdd() * _IsBeta() * Writing DPI Awareness App - workaround * _AutoIt_RequiredVersion() * Chilkatsoft.au3 UDF * TeamViewer.au3 UDF * JavaManagement UDF * VIES over SOAPPOP3.au3 UDF *  RTF Printer - UDF * XML.au3 - BETA * ADO.au3 UDF SMTP Mailer UDF * WinSCP UDF *

My contribution to others projects: * _sql.au3 UDF  *

Useful links: * Forum Rules * Forum etiquette *  Forum Information and FAQs * How to post code on the forum * AutoIt Online Documentation * AutoIt Online Beta Documentation * SciTE4AutoIt3 getting started * Convert text blocks to AutoIt code * Games made in Autoit * Programming related sites * Polish AutoIt Tutorial * DllCall Code Generator * 

Wiki: Expand your knowledge - AutoIt Wiki * Collection of User Defined Functions * How to use HelpFile * Best coding practices * 

IE Related:  * How to use IE.au3  UDF with  AutoIt v3.3.14.x * Why isn't Autoit able to click a Javascript Dialog? * Clicking javascript button with no ID * IE document >> save as MHT file * IETab Switcher (by LarsJ ) * HTML Entities *

I encourage you to read: * Global Vars * Best Coding Practices * Please explain code used in Help file for several File functions * OOP-like approach in AutoIt * UDF-Spec Questions *  EXAMPLE: How To Catch ConsoleWrite() output to a file or to CMD *

"Homo sum; humani nil a me alienum puto" - Publius Terentius Afer
"Program are meant to be read by humans and only incidentally for computers and execute" - Donald Knuth, "The Art of Computer Programming"
:naughty:  :ranting:, be  :) and       \\//_.

Anticipating Errors :  "Any program that accepts data from a user must include code to validate that data before sending it to the data store. You cannot rely on the data store, ...., or even your programming language to notify you of problems. You must check every byte entered by your users, making sure that data is the correct type for its field and that required fields are not empty."

 

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55 minutes ago, RTFC said:

A smart compiler can optimise memory storage better if it knows in advance that a particular subset of variables will not ever be resized. This can reduce fragmentation of virtual memory.

I know that those compilers convert the code to native machine code.... I know that our aut2exe does not do that :o. But AutoIt3Wrapper made by @Jos has an option to replace constants with their actual value... That might be somewhat of an advantage but its very useless if that constant is not hard coded in the script! (Like Control IDs of Controls in a GUI).

49 minutes ago, mLipok said:

Yes but 2 can be used secure only with 4.

I don't get what you are trying to say :unsure:.


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Yeah, Jos based the idea on PreExpand.


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@guinness Do you have access to AutoIt's code? If yes, how does AutoIt handle constants?


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#12 ·  Posted (edited)

From my perspective there are two types of constant: artificial constants and real constants. Real constants are things like Pi, and artificial constants are based on design choices - for example magic numbers by Microsoft. @RTFC makes a good point which I hadn't considered. Although it appears to make sense. I'm not sure if this is the case with AutoIt. It may well be that using the Const keyword actually slows down the script by a very tiny amount, although you would hardly notice any difference. Hard coded values will probably always have a slight edge over variables, which is why @guinness created PreExpand. You should always use the Const keyword for constants. It's good style and prevents corruption.

Edited by czardas

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3 hours ago, czardas said:

It may well be that using the Const keyword actually slows down the script by a very tiny amount, although you would hardly notice any difference.

Its the same case when we declare a variable too I think.


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2 hours ago, TheDcoder said:

Its the same case when we declare a variable too I think.

That's what I said. :)

5 hours ago, czardas said:

Hard coded values will probably always have a slight edge over variables

 

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oh, ok, silly me :P


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If I hurt you, Please accept my apologies, I never (regardless of the situation) mean to hurt anybody!!!

Also, I am very busy with my project so I will appear in the last row of the online list, if you want to contact me: Email@TheDcoder.xyz

Or you can have a nice chat with me in freenode, I use the same nick on freenode too!

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16 hours ago, TheDcoder said:

@guinness Do you have access to AutoIt's code? If yes, how does AutoIt handle constants?

Yes, though I haven't really looked in that code if I am honest.


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Oh :o


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10 hours ago, TheDcoder said:

Oh :o

Even if I did, I don't know how much I can divulge about the internals.


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Updated: 04/09/2015

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Quote

Hard coded values will probably always have a slight edge over variables

Quote

It may well be that using the Const keyword actually slows down the script by a very tiny amount

 

So, in conclusion, magic numbers save milliseconds. :)


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Seems this is all speculation right now. I prefer benchmarking over rumours.


_AdapterConnections()_AlwaysRun()_AppMon()_AppMonEx()_BinaryBin()_CheckMsgBox()_CmdLineRaw()_ContextMenu()_ConvertLHWebColor()/_ConvertSHWebColor()_DesktopDimensions()_DisplayPassword()_DotNet_Load()/_DotNet_Unload()_Fibonacci()_FileCompare()_FileCompareContents()_FileNameByHandle()_FilePrefix/SRE()_FindInFile()_GetBackgroundColor()/_SetBackgroundColor()_GetConrolID()_GetCtrlClass()_GetDirectoryFormat()_GetDriveMediaType()_GetFilename()/_GetFilenameExt()_GetHardwareID()_GetIP()_GetIP_Country()_GetOSLanguage()_GetSavedSource()_GetStringSize()_GetSystemPaths()_GetURLImage()_GIFImage()_GoogleWeather()_GUICtrlCreateGroup()_GUICtrlListBox_CreateArray()_GUICtrlListView_CreateArray()_GUICtrlListView_SaveCSV()_GUICtrlListView_SaveHTML()_GUICtrlListView_SaveTxt()_GUICtrlListView_SaveXML()_GUICtrlMenu_Recent()_GUICtrlMenu_SetItemImage()_GUICtrlTreeView_CreateArray()_GUIDisable()_GUIImageList_SetIconFromHandle()_GUIRegisterMsg()_GUISetIcon()_Icon_Clear()/_Icon_Set()_IdleTime()_InetGet()_InetGetGUI()_InetGetProgress()_IPDetails()_IsFileOlder()_IsGUID()_IsHex()_IsPalindrome()_IsRegKey()_IsStringRegExp()_IsSystemDrive()_IsUPX()_IsValidType()_IsWebColor()_Language()_Log()_MicrosoftInternetConnectivity()_MSDNDataType()_PathFull/GetRelative/Split()_PathSplitEx()_PrintFromArray()_ProgressSetMarquee()_ReDim()_RockPaperScissors()/_RockPaperScissorsLizardSpock()_ScrollingCredits_SelfDelete()_SelfRename()_SelfUpdate()_SendTo()_ShellAll()_ShellFile()_ShellFolder()_SingletonHWID()_SingletonPID()_Startup()_StringCompact()_StringIsValid()_StringRegExpMetaCharacters()_StringReplaceWholeWord()_StringStripChars()_Temperature()_TrialPeriod()_UKToUSDate()/_USToUKDate()_WinAPI_Create_CTL_CODE()_WinAPI_CreateGUID()_WMIDateStringToDate()/_DateToWMIDateString()Au3 script parsingAutoIt SearchAutoIt3 PortableAutoIt3WrapperToPragmaAutoItWinGetTitle()/AutoItWinSetTitle()CodingDirToHTML5FileInstallrFileReadLastChars()GeoIP databaseGUI - Only Close ButtonGUI ExamplesGUICtrlDeleteImage()GUICtrlGetBkColor()GUICtrlGetStyle()GUIEventsGUIGetBkColor()Int_Parse() & Int_TryParse()IsISBN()LockFile()Mapping CtrlIDsOOP in AutoItParseHeadersToSciTE()PasswordValidPasteBinPosts Per DayPreExpandProtect GlobalsQueue()Resource UpdateResourcesExSciTE JumpSettings INISHELLHOOKShunting-YardSignature CreatorStack()Stopwatch()StringAddLF()/StringStripLF()StringEOLToCRLF()VSCROLLWM_COPYDATAMore Examples...

Updated: 04/09/2015

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