> Yes, infix "a + b" parsing would be easier to read

If you are targeting non-programmers, I think the bigger point is that a + b is 
easier to write.  I do understand the motivation for prefix from the 
implementation standpoint.  The issue, I suppose, will be how early you want to 
include non-programmers as users.

Anyway, that's my 15.2 cents (inflation unadjusted).  I'm not your target 
audience in any case.

Bob H

On Jan 11, 2016, at 3:31 PM, Dooley, Damion wrote:

> Hi,
> Thanks for quick reply, and good point about keeping math expressions
> familiar to most users.   In this first round I settled for a simple
> prefix "function(parameter1 parameter2 ...)".  All the python infix
> operators like "a + b" have equivalent prefix functions "add(a b)" so the
> latter are used.  
> Yes, infix "a + b" parsing would be easier to read, and I was thinking we
> could try that on our next iteration (and remain backward compatible) but
> more opinion may shift that up!  (Some other issues to tackle too:
> decisions about whether "/" should map to "div(a b)" or "truediv(a b)",
> and how to avoid conflict with our namespace method of referring to
> variables via a/b/c paths).
> I'm definitely avoiding eval() since we do have to control exactly which
> functions, conditionals, and loop constructs are executed.  Not trying to
> provide the all-out iPython approach.
> D.
> On 2016-01-11, 12:03 PM, "Bob Harris" <rshar...@bx.psu.edu> wrote:
>> On Jan 11, 2016, at 2:42 PM, Dooley, Damion wrote:
>>> ... we're testing out a basic scripting language ... meant to provide
>>> [folks] with
>>> ways to [do something] without having to be programmers ...
>>> ....
>>>  if( lt(/N50 200000) set(report/job/status FAIL))
>>> Math is accomplished by python built-in math functions ...
>> It could well be that's the only way to accomplish what you want in
>> whatever environment you're in.  But the use of prefix notation and a
>> funny name, for an operator like "<" that non-programmers use familiarly
>> as infix, would seem contrary to the stated goal that the user needn't be
>> a programmer.
>> If math can be accomplished via python, why not "<"?  By "math" do you
>> only mean function calls, and not arithmetic operators?  Is it that
>> python eval() can't be used because of security issues?
>> Bob H

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