About the language specification project:

>The goal I see for this project is coming out with a document that is
>useful for users.  Something that they could hold in their hands, and from
>reading it, they'd know whether something is supposed to work or not.  Now,
>I'm sure that it's possible that during the course of the project we'll
>find inconsistencies in the implementation that need to be fixed, but as a
>guideline the spec should describe the implementation.  We really don't
>need the kind of stuff that were with C++, with 80% conformance and 99%
>conformance and all that headache.
>   I agree, in part.  I think however we should document the syntax as it
>"ought to be", ie, some of the stuff is not yet realized like what sascha
>was reffering to as far as the zend-cvs discussion (which I didn't really
>follow too well).  Or, obviously, bugs should not be at all considered in
>the specification itself.

(discussed mid-november 2000)

This project seems rather dead to me. Though, I think it should be
continued. Some work was alread been done.

I would like to try to reanimate it. I think, like Sacha I think, that a
spec should be quite exact and precise.
Zend was made without a proper specification, something they try to hammer
all first-year students at my university you should NEVER do that.

It is very annoying to have to specify all quirks, I think it is most
practical to document it the way it should be, and then note whereever it
goes wrong.

Most of these 'where it goes wrong's are in fact quirks, that normal users
shouldn't meet, and if they do, it works so strange, it can't be documented
in a easy way.

(what do you think of this one:
$a[5] = 'abc';
$foo = &$a[5];

$b = $a; // should copy the array
$a[5] = 'boe';
echo $b[5]; // boe...

Array elements that have a reference are not copyd, but a reference is
made... bah!

And the target shouldn't be the user at first.

Then, IMO the next step would be to make zend comply to the specs, finally
making version 4.1 as some people seem to want.
And THEN you can publish the spec. With the current quirky behaviour, PHP
won't be seen as a well and neatly specified and LOGIC language, but rather
as some potpourri (mixup) of other languages.

But before I start, I want to know your opinions nowadays...
And, I really need (=want) to know whether Zend WILL go comply to the new

About what the spec exactly will be: I, and anyone who wants, just make it
based on their own views. First of course
the framework should be made ready, so concurrent work can be done more
easily. I think adapting a bit to the structure of the phpdoc documentation
isn't such a bad idea.

Regulary it is posted to phpdev, and then you can flame it, or whatever. And
then some decission needs to be made, consensus seems hard, but hey, lets
add the rule that if consensus isn't reached I'll decide ;)

(by the way, I came onto this trying to document the language properly, but
that is really hard to do... if you want it to have as exact as possible)
(BTW2: zend-cvs discussion? where are the archives? and is there web-cvs for
zend somewhere?)

- spec framework made (sacha?, myself?)
- spec made, as how it should work, so close as possible to PHP, but in case
of quirks, just a logic behaviour.
 (Anyone who wants. Myself included)
  WITH notes where zend does something strange.
- extensive discussion on phpdev
- zend adapted
- spec published along with new version of PHP/zend

Jeroen van Wolffelaar

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