Thank you for your considerate reply, Brent.

> I see a few syntactic problems with this idea: the subtraction and
> negation operators you already mentioned,

Did I miss any problems related to those?

> but also the fact that dashes are already used in package names to
> indicate version and author (`class Foo::Bar-2.10-cpan:BRENTDAX;`).

Hmm, I did not consider that.

> I suspect that both of these problems will be more troublesome than
> you might guess.
> But there's a philosophical problem too.  This proposal is an instance
> of what I'm going to call the "dimmer switch problem".


> Perl has a lot of different ways of doing things.  But if you examine
> the design, you'll realize that they aren't mere cosmetic
> differences--each form lends itself to different tasks.

Yet you have the choice of where to put your braces, even
though the braces don't lend themselves to different tasks
depending on whether you put them on a new line or not.

No sane person would put their braces in different places in
different parts of their code, so why don't we just say,
"from now on, you must use brace style X"?

But I see your point.  If Perl started adding tons of
syntactic dimmer swithes, that would certainly be a wrong
turn for TMTOWTDI.  (Luckily, Perl 6 has so many hidden
switches that you could probably play with them forever and
never get bored.)

> A lot of the suggestions I see for Perl 6 are dimmer switches; they
> add an option or two to better suit someone's tastes but don't add any
> power to the language.

I might far too humble to try to think of anything that
could possibly add more power to such an enourmously
powerful beast of a language.  If not, then at least I know
far too little about the language.

Is Perl 6 really in such a desperate need of new and more
powerful features that issues of convenience are irrelevant?

> This is hardly the first case; the suggestion a long time
> ago to use backtick as a subscript operator comes to mind,
> but there have been many others.

No offense to whoever made that suggestion, but I think
there are far more people out there with a developed taste
for hyphenated identifiers than there are people with a
thing for using backticks as subscript operators.

Do you see the difference?  I'm trying to cater to an
actually existing and in many cases strong preference.

> Car designers, of course, are stuck with the dimmer switch: they do
> need to provide some way to provide this feature to their customers

Do they, really?  Can't they just settle on a standard
dimmer setting that works well enough for everyone?

> This feature can be added as grammar-modifying pragma.  If you want
> the hyphen, simply type something like `use hyphens;` and you can use
> hyphenated identifiers in the surrounding scope.  And unlike Ruby,
> this will be easy to do unambiguously: just override the Perl 6
> grammar's identifier rule.  All the edge cases will be resolved by the
> longest token principle, so `foo-bar-baz` will be an identifier.

Yes, it's very comforting to know that even if Perl 6 won't
have this feature built in, it will be so amazingly easy to
implement in a beautifully clean way.

But what about class Foo::Bar-2.10-cpan:BRENTDAX?

Daniel Brockman <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

Reply via email to