At 17:30 +0000 2/24/08, Luke Palmer wrote:
>On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 3:00 PM, Aristotle Pagaltzis <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

And I read both very carefully and failed to understand most of it.

I use perl for physics and engineering mostly because I forgot most of my 
FORTRAN long ago and perl works everywhere.

I really want to use complex numbers, vectors, matrices, and sometimes 
quarternions. I really want to be able to define or use previously defined 
operators in a way that I learned in the 50's. I want my compiler to understand 
when I use vectors in which the components are complex numbers. I want dot and 
cross product to work. I want to be able to multiply a matrix by a vector and 
get a polite error message if I try that with impossible arguments.

What I think I learned from those two messages is that it's damnably difficult 
for a parser to figure out what I'm doing. Perhaps it just isn't worth while.

But. . .

I really don't mind informing my compiler in advance about what I want a 
variable to be treated as. Typedef {}, Dimension () and the like are no problem 
at all. I don't mind. And I think that would also apply to my scientifically 
oriented friends.

Wouldn't it make life easier for the parser to overload the * operator into a 
dot product whenever both arguments have been defined as vectors or been 
returned as vectors by a previous operation? One could even use ** for a cross 
product since raising to a vector power is unreasonable. Just recognizing the 
special use declared and passing the operation off to a required subroutine 
would be adequate. Yes. It can all be expressed in simple object-oriented 
language but all of the File::Fu stuff is unduly complicating the use in 

Practical Extraction and Reporting are what perl is about and I know I'm 
stretching the plan but just a bit of code that will allow, but not require, 
typedefs - er classes - of special things that cause operators to be passed to 
subroutines - er class methods - to be written could make a big difference.

Even translating ^ to pow($x,$y) would be useful to some, but I remember that 
much FORTRAN. And -2^2 is -4 (correctly?) in C on a two's complement machine.


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