Re: multi-line expressions
Robin Friedrich (email@example.com)
Fri, 25 Feb 94 07:39:33 CST
> From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu Feb 24 20:06:07 1994
> To: email@example.com (Ty Sarna)
> Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: multi-line expressions
> Date: Thu, 24 Feb 94 17:13:48 -0800
> From: Richard Golding <email@example.com>
> Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Content-Length: 1297
> >> > IMHO, it would be a mistake to turn indentation into the cornerstone
> >> > of the language and hinge its success on it. It's important to listen
> >> > to customers, in this case developers, and concede that perhaps adding
> >> > symbols to bracket blocks is "what the market wants."
> >> I think it's one of Python's nicest features, and after working with it
> >> for a while, C's braces seem as stupid and unneccesarily verbose to me
> >> as Pascal's BEGIN/END seem to a typical C programmer. I also hate to
> >> see a good language compromised just to satisfy people's prejudeces (and
> >> it really is a predudice -- the people who object have almost
> >> universally never tried it).
> Well, to add a different viewpoint to this debate -- I have had
> problems with the indentation syntax because sometimes I don't want
> code written and manipulated by humans; I want code manipulated by
> code. One of the strengths of the lisp-like languages is that they
> have a syntactic structure that stays out of the way of machine
> manipulation. Much of this debate reminds me of the debate
> surrounding Lisp macros versus specialised special forms -- and macros
> seem to have been a win in the long run. Sad to say, this difficulty
> of manipulating code forms has kept me from using Python in general.
This is a good point. However, I must weigh in on the side of indentation.
I can't tell you how many times I've had to chase down code problems merely
related to improper braces/parens. I stongly encourage people to deal with
this by proper formating of their code. (I'm really trying to get them to
make readable code.) It's refreshing to see a language enforce good
readiblility practices. The users (not professional programmers) I've shown
python to have actually appreciated it! When training folks like engineers
on a new language it really helps to have minimal syntactic overhead.
For the code generation scenario a new, backward compatible construct may
be in order. After all our goal is world domination and it would add a
nice feather to python's cap.