On Jun 26, 2020, at 1:41 PM, Robert Engels <reng...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
> I don’t think “how it works” is the confusion, more of “how to use it 
> properly”
> My opinion is that if RTFM is required more than once for a core concept 
> there may be a design problem. It clearly bites a lot of people. Slices are a 
> higher level struct, as the underlying array is the same as Java, but Java 
> doesn’t suffer these knowledge gaps. I’m guessing because it’s higher but not 
> high enough. Done for performance while forsaking some safety and clarity.  

Frankly, I think the problem is with append().  I understand why it's 
structured the way it is, and yes, I agree the documentation is fairly clear 
about how it works *if you read it*, but we need to be honest with ourselves 
about how people read the documentation (or don't).  The problem with append() 
is that it returns a value, and if you only learn by example or quickly skim 
through the docs (as Howard pointed out), it's not going to be immediately 
apparently that it's not necessarily a new slice or array.

I don't say this because I think append() should be modified to be an in-place 
operator (that would be impractical and break a lot of things that rely on 
current behavior) but it shouldn't be mysterious to us that people coming from 
every language that has a variable-length vector think of it incorrectly 
because that's how the vast majority of them treat an append operation (either 
as an in-place or as a copy, and we've kind of split the difference).

I wish I had a more constructive answer to this, because I guess you can't make 
other people's tutorials call this out, and using the return value as a 
different slice is a valid thing to do even if it is inadvisable without doing 
more elaborate checking on the capacity, etc, so it's kind of hard to put in a 

- Dave

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