Thomas Wittek wrote:
> Moritz Lenz schrieb:
>>> What makes Perl hard to read is the excessive use of special characters
>>> (/\W/).
>> I disagree: The make it look ugly, but not hard to read.
> Even if it's "only" ugly: To what advantage? I don't think ugliness is a
> good characteristic of a programming language.

In fact it makes the code easier to read. At least to me.
The other day I had a lot of work to do with matlab code, and it just
sucked. No variables where declared, and therefore I had no type
information. I didn't knew if arguments passed to functions were
arrays/matrices or scalars, and sigils would have helped very much.

And don't say "but a good IDE.." - I didn't have one. No language should
depend on its IDE's syntax hilighting.

>>> I would also like semicolons to be optional. 
>> Most people don't ;-).
> Oh, really? Source? :)

I paraphrased Larry Wall. Iirc it was "everybody wants the semicolon" or
something - correct me if I'm wrong.

> I think they were invented to allow easier parsing and not easier coding.

I think the p6 grammar is so complex that you couldn't do it without a
statement terminator, be it a semicolon or a newline. And we know that
you prefer the newline, I (and it seems, many other) do prefer semicolons.

> E.g. in JavaScript, Python, Ruby and Groovy they are optional or even
> don't exist.

most languages don't allow you to call a function without parentheses.
if you have

foo bar

without a statement termination, you can't know if thats
whereas if you force the parentheses, it is unambigous anyway.

Which explains why languages with simpler syntax can well live without
the semicolon.

>>> I really like the Python way of doing it: Set the variables type on the
>>> assignment and remember it. The (fewer) operators now work according to
>>> the type of the operands. No implicit (and error prone) type casting.
>>> That way seems to be the best compromise of easiness and type safety.
>> Well, if you like the python way, feel free to code in python.
> Oh, if I didn't like Perl, why should I care about posting my ideas here?
> Perl has stolen the largest part of the language from other languages.
> Why not do so again by adopting good ideas.

because, as was pointed out earlier, huge changes
a) delay implementation significantly and
b) change the character of the language too heavily. We want Perl 6 to
be Perl still.

>> Don't get me wrong, there's nothing bad in writing some critics, but
>> yours is impossible to realize in Perl 6
> Admittedly I'm much too late and I didn't expect applause for my critics
> -- but at least I hoped to get a discussion based on arguments.

Most of these issues have been discussed in one way or another, either
on p6l or on If you really want the arguments, you'll find
most of them.

>> and therefore are it's hard to call it constructive.
> Unfortunately I already thought this. Even if everyone agreed that
> sigils (or forced semicolons, or tons of operators, ...) are more bad
> than good (and this seems like persuading the pope to allow homosexual
> muslims to marry with priests) the design process is probably too far to
> introduce such dramatic changes.



Moritz Lenz |

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