"with" still sucks + removing features + adding features

Andrei Alexandrescu SeeWebsiteForEmail at erdani.org
Tue May 19 16:22:36 PDT 2009

Robert Fraser wrote:
> 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.

Good point. "Think" is key :o). I'm sure it's often happened to many of 
us to share with a friend something we spent nights poring over, for 
them to come with what they're convinced is a much better idea after 
dignifying the matter with five seconds worth of thinking.


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