"with" still sucks + removing features + adding features

Robert Fraser fraserofthenight at gmail.com
Tue May 19 15:57:38 PDT 2009

Andrei Alexandrescu wrote:
> bearophile wrote:
>> Andrei Alexandrescu:
>>> I don't plan to discuss minor features on this group anymore.
>> In about two years I've never heard Walter say something like that
>> (even if may think similar things every day), he doesn't need a
>> pedestal.
> This has nothing to do with a pedestal. It's simple pragmatics. We are 
> fulfilling Wadler's law (http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Wadlers_Law) 
> around here, and that's counterproductive.
> Some of language design and most of syntax design are subjective. We all 
> have a tendency to subjectively prefer features that we created and to 
> be more critical of features that others have created. It's natural. 
> They call it the better-than-average bias 
> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Wobegon_effect). I have that tendency 
> as much as the next guy, but I also like to believe I do not let that 
> mask my reasoning too bad. That is, I wouldn't go at any length to 
> defend a no-win case and argue against others while at the same time 
> consistently ignoring any explanation given several times and in several 
> forms.
> Case in point: omitting the trailing parens in function calls... I got 
> destroyed on that one :o).
> Andrei

I think the other effect is we don't often have time to think about our 
suggestions for very long... Design is a process and something often 
"sounds good at the time". Consider the A{} syntax for templates... a 
whole newsgroup, a month of discussion, and it took until Walter started 
implementing it to realize the syntactic ambiguity.

Having more heads to think about a syntactic change can't be a bad thing.

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