"with" still sucks + removing features + adding features

Georg Wrede georg.wrede at iki.fi
Tue May 19 17:51:02 PDT 2009

Andrei Alexandrescu wrote:
> 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).

And another thing is, of course, that even a simple language can become 
too hard for a normal programmer, if it becomes too elegant or assumes 
too much generalizing, memorizing, and abstract thinking from the 
programmer when he is coding.

Some of the vociferous things (well, like the trailing parens thing) may 
be related to that.

So, this NG serves a purpose in helping the language stay near most 
regular programmers' reach. Wich is a must, if we intend to take over 
the world.

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