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Re: COAS white paper draft

dres@dimensional.com (James LewisMoss)  wrote on 29.10.97 in <[🔎] hhvhyf979e.fsf@dres.elam.org>:

> <mode=toned-down-language-holy-war>

I'm not sure this is the right place for this discussion, but ...

> The indent level determines the blocks of python code.  It is easy to
> do (with any half intelligent editor).  It reduces the clutter you see
> in most languages ( { and } anyone?), and it just uses what everyone
> does anyway (indent everything by block) as the block delimiters
> rather than requiring another set of begin/end, {/} delimiters.

That _may_ be nice if all your blocks happen to fit on one screen. That's  
hardly realistic, though.

Have you ever tried to match indents after several screens of distance?  
It's not pretty. Whenever I try it, there's at least a 10% chance that I  
get it wrong.

Besides, it's just plain ugly from a language design point of view. All  
white space should be equal. Neither line ends nor indentation should  
change the meaning of a program. That's evil.

> I suspect (with no evidence to back this up of course) that most
> people would find Python much easier to maintain and read than perl.

I've learnt and used many languages. I've *always* had trouble with  
languages that violated the "white space is nothing but a delimiter" rule.

> Look at the language before you make judgments.  It is rather nice

The indentation issue is more than enough to decide the issue for me. I  
don't need that type of trouble.

> (though I still prefer scheme :), and there are some very large
> projects using it currently and having no problems (which IMO perl is
> not meant to do (though the modules in perl5 make this much better)).

I'll probably be trying something large in Perl soon (after I get done  
converting something moderately-sized from bash to Perl - what a mess that  
currently is, incidentally shell script also violates the white space  

Mostly, I've preferred (Borland's) Pascal for large projects, but Perl has  
far better text handling.

MfG Kai

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