[MUD-Dev] Re: Bruce Sterling on Virtual Community goals

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Wed Oct 21 18:27:43 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

On Tue, 20 Oct 1998 20:06:09 -0700 (PDT) 
Marc Hernandez<marc at jb.com> wrote:

> I also dislike Pythons whitespace requirements (and it looked like
> such a nice language).

As did I, and as I did for about the first 10K lines of code I wrote
in it.  Then it started to grow on me, to the point that now I
rather like it.  Then I went and wrote a few hundred thousand lines
of Python and decided that in fact I really liked it.  (The
debugging advantages are not to be sneezed at).

Consider it this way:

  Most of use use a set coding format for our C code.  We put our
braces in the same place every time, wrap (or don't) long lines in
the same way each time, use <whatever> character or TAB indents for
blocks, etc.  The result is that if we took that code and removed
__ALL__ the purely structural components, all the semi-colons, all
the braces, etc we would still be able to read it and would in fact,
with trivial effort, be able to re-assemble the code as it was
before the structural elements were removed by purely relying on our
knowledge of our coding formats.

  So, if they in fact convey so little information due to the fact
that we have adopted a coding format already, why use them at all?
Python is essentially in the position of merely mandating a coding
format.  Whether it is the best-ever coding format, or curls your
short and curlies is another matter -- almost all commercial shops
also have coding style guidelines which ehy (more or less) mandate
so you can expect in your professional lives to often not have a
choice -- its there, its not excessively onorus, and it works.

PetPeeve: However there is a particular form of white space
sensitivity that *REALLY* bugs me in languages like REXX, and that's
the requirement that there NOT be any white space between a function 
identifier and the opening paren for the arguments:

  func(arg)   /* Legal code */
  func (arg)  /* Syntax error */

J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at kanga.nu
(Contractor)                              Internet: coder at kanga.nu
---------(*)                     Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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