Austin Hastings:
> A similar trade-off exists with the statement terminating semicolon. In
> this case, it involves the number of statements per line:
> A language that terminates statements can ignore whitespace, allowing
> multiple statements per line and statements that span multiple lines.

Still possible with optional semicolons (as you say later):

 a = 1
 b = \
 c = 3; d = 4

> The vast majority of languages have opted to terminate statements.

Most of the younger scripting languages didn't.

> Probably the best argument is that encountering a
> semicolon (or full stop, in COBOL) is a positive indicator rather than a
> negative one. "I see a semicolon. I know the statement is over." as
> opposed to "I don't see a continuation marker, so it's likely that the
> statement is over, although it could be tabbed way off to the right or
> something."

Your semicolon could also be tabbed way off, so you can't be sure there
"I see no semicolon, so it's likely that the statement continues on the
next line".

> So line termination doesn't gain a punctuation character

No problem I think.

> and causes the ends of lines to be uncertain.

It's exactly as certain as with semicolon termination. See above.

> It does reduce typing, for the small crowd of people that wouldn't
> just use them anyway because they use them in every other language.

> I think the lack of value here outweights the "savings" of one character
> per line.

But even if the advantage of line termination is low (some characters
saved, some people might say it looks cleaner), I cannot see any
advantage of semicolon termination.

Thomas Wittek

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