On Mon, Nov 07, 2005 at 04:46:06PM -0500, Andrew Rodland wrote:
> Sorry, I wasn't clear here, so I hope you don't mind my cutting you off. What 
> I meant wasn't "signatures are too much complexity" -- they're not; they're 
> simply doing something useful -- but rather "too much complexity is getting 
> thrown into signatures" to the point where the gain isn't so much, but the 
> complexity starts creeping in, and you need a book just for everyday tasks. 
> Combined with what seems to me like a thoroughly unreadable syntax, function 
> signatures are starting to look like a brand new version of the regex mess 
> that p6 ditched in favor of the more consistent, more readable patterns.

Well, just to point out that we didn't know a priori that the regexp
syntax was a mess until we got extensive experience with it and with
what we wanted from it. In the early 1990s, perl and its regular
expressions were the coolest stuff ever. :-)

I think the same holds for signature syntax. @Larry are doing the best
juggling act they can to get it worked out such that once it's "set in
stone", the signature syntax will be intuitive, sensible, unobtrusive,
etc. There may be complexity, but most times you shouldn't see it unless
you want to do something strange and wonderous and magical.

The only reason it looks like there's complexity now is because we're
pushing and prodding the signature syntax to see what works and what
doesn't. (At this point, I'm *really* glad the language design is taking
years) Because of this there will be times when all of the guts are
exposed, but I don't think that it'll always be that way. By the time
perl 6.0.0 rolls around, the guts should be tucked away nicely.

my two cents,

Jonathan Scott Duff

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