On Sun, Feb 24, 2013 at 12:17 AM, David A. Wheeler
<dwhee...@dwheeler.com> wrote:
> As I posted earlier, I'm *really* uncomfortable with losing the ability to 
> auto-check the grammar.  But I do understand the notion that extending 
> SUBLIST, especially to handle "let" and similar constructs, could be useful.
> Beni Cherniavsky-Paskin:
>>[I'm asking this because if it's 'fixed, my
>>closing-SUBLIST-by-unmatched-dedent would allow:
>>let $
>>! ! x $ compute 'x
>>! ! y $ compute 'y
>>! body...
> I have a counter-proposal, maybe I can call it "Beni-Lite" :-) ???   And I 
> even have a sample implementation that we can try out.
> I've just posted to the "devel" branch a change to the ANTLR implementation 
> that permits closing SUBLIST by an unmatched DEDENT, but *only* if the "$" is 
> the last item on a line (and there's something before "$" other than indent 
> chars).  This limited semantic ("Beni-lite"?) covers the primary use cases 
> I've seen, *AND* I've found a way to formulate it so that we can continue to 
> use ANTLR's grammar checking and run-time input checking.
> To do this, I've tweaked the indent processor.  After you dedent, if the 
> dedent doesn't match the parent indent, it then generates a RE_INDENT. This 
> retains a whole lot of error-checking, both of the BNF and of the input 
> during processing.  This means that:
> let $
> ! ! var1 value1
> ! body...
> becomes:
> INDENT var1 value2 EOL
> It includes a few test cases, which show how it works:
> let $
> ! ! var1 value1
> ! body...
> ; ==> (let ((var1 value1)) body...)
> let $
> ! ! var1 value1
> ! ! var2 value2
> ! body...
> ; ==> (let ((var1 value1) (var2 value2)) body...)
> let $
> ! ! var1 value1
> ! ! var2 value2
> ! ! var3 value3
> ! body1 param1
> ! body2 param2
> ; ==>
> ; (let ((var1 value1) (var2 value2) (var3 value3))
> ;        (body1 param1) (body2 param2))
> Even this backed-off version is complicated, but it's not MUCH more 
> complicated, and it does retain all the error-checking that I'm very loathe 
> to drop.  It only works when "$" is at the end of the line... but that seems 
> like a reasonable limitation.
> Comments?
> I *especially* want to hear from Beni Cherniavsky-Paskin and Alan Manuel 
> Gloria, since both have expressed an interest in this kind of capability, but 
> I certainly want to hear from all.  I want to make this final notation a good 
> balance between "simple" and "capable"... I worry that even this subset may 
> be a step too far.

I think that, conceptually, having a limitation is an additional
complication when teaching the notation.

When explaining the Beni formulation we can say "A $ indicates a
further indent, with the promise that either you will have a
'staggered dedent' like FIGURE X, or that you will close the sublist
with a dedent to a 'real' indentation level on this line or a parent
line of this line."

Granted we could just mandate these patterns, but I worry that we are
now slipping into the "notation is tied to underlying semantic" bug.
Or in this case, "notation is tied to underlying legacy syntax".

I'd rather have the full Beni formulation of SUBLIST or the classic
0.4 formulation, in that preference order.

I'll admit that I don't have a use for the full Beni formulation other
than for let, though.  I suspect there may be further use cases; but I
haven't found any others yet.


Beni-full formulation, informally:

The SUBLIST or "$" marker indicates that the text following it on that
line will be indented by one more "virtual" indentation level than the
current line.  The direct child lines of this line will then be
considered child lines of only the text after the last SUBLIST marker,
and the text after the SUBLIST marker will be considered a child of
the text before the SUBLIST marker.  You can also chain SUBLIST
markers, like so:

probe $ call/cc $ lambda (exit)
! exit 42
! call/cc
! ! lambda (exit)
! ! ! exit 42

In addition, the SUBLIST marker allows a "staggered dedent", like so:

foo $ a b
! ! c
! d

In this case, the "a b" text has as its child the directly succeeding
child line of its line, while the line with "staggered" dedent will be
the next sibling of the "a b" text.  So the above is equivalent to:

! a b
! ! c
! d

In general, the "staggered dedent" capability of SUBLIST is not used;
you are more likely to just close it directly:

foo $ a b
! c
! a b
! ! c

However, the staggered dedent is useful for LET:

let $
! ! var
! !   value
! ! var2
! !   value2
! body
! ...

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