Why is there no or or and ?

F i L witte2008 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 16 23:44:48 PST 2012

On Friday, 17 February 2012 at 06:25:49 UTC, H. S. Teoh wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 06:47:20AM +0100, F i L wrote:
>> I would use them over '||' and '&&' for the reasons bearophile 
>> gave.
>> Highlighted as keywords, they're easily set appart, easier to 
>> type,
>> and more distinguished... then again if I had my way I'd 
>> remove the
>> '('/')' brackets, ending marks, and auto keyword; switched the
>> definition name-type placement and change 
>> if/else/return/contract
>> syntax...
> Well, if you're going to reinvent the language syntax, I'd like 
> to
> replace:
> 	=	with	:=
> 	==	with	=

I would agree with this, only there should be a distinction 
between assignment and declaration. Which in my syntax is ':'. 
Maybe the keyword 'is' could apply to runtime conditions.. might 
go nicely with the 'not' statement.

> These two are the most annoying syntax inherited from C, 
> IMNSHO. I mean,
> mathematically speaking, = is equality, not assignment. 
> Traditionally :=
> has been used for assignment; so why mix them up? Besides, what 
> on earth
> is == anyway? Equal-equal? It makes no sense. And even worse, 
> languages
> like Javascript that copied C's lousy choice of equality 
> operator made
> it worse by introducing ===, which is both nonsensical in 
> appearance and
> semantically a symptom of language maldesign.
> Next on the list is, of course:
> 	&&	with	and	(or perhaps &)
> 	||	with	or	(or perhaps even |)
> The symbol '&' is commonly used to mean 'and', such as "John & 
> Wiley's".
> So why the && stutter? Bitwise operations aren't used very much 
> anyway,
> so they shouldn't be hogging single-character operators. Let 
> bitwise AND
> be &&, and I'd be OK with that. But C has gotten it the wrong 
> way round.
> Similarly '|' *has* been used traditionally to separate 
> alternatives,
> such as in BNF notation, so there's no reason for that silly || 
> stutter.
> Bitwise OR isn't used very often anyway, so if anything, | 
> should be
> logial OR, and I suppose it's OK for || to be bitwise OR. Again 
> C has it
> the wrong way round.

Agreed. Though '|' is used to accumulate bit flags, but I guess 
"flag1 || flag2 || etc" isn't so bad. Especially since, as you 
said, these situations aren't uses nearly as much as conditional 
OR. Still, I think the best would be to simply use keyword and/or 
and leave &/| as bitwise operations.

> But more importantly:
> 	^^	with	^
> 	^	with something else altogether
> I mean, c'mon. Everybody knows ^ means superscript, that is,
> exponentiation. So why waste such a convenient symbol on 
> bitwise XOR,
> which is only rarely used anyway?! It should simply be called 
> 'xor' at
> best.  Nobody who hasn't learned C (or its derivatives) knows 
> what '^'
> means (in C) anyway.
> And then:
> 	!	with	not
> Everyone knows ! means exclamation mark, or factorial. Having 
> it also
> mean logical NOT is just needlessly confusing. What's wrong 
> with 'not'?
> Or, since we have Unicode, what about ¬? Much clearer.
> As for bitwise NOT, '~' is about the most counterintuitive 
> symbol for
> such a thing. My presumptuous guess is that Kernighan ran out 
> of symbols
> on the keyboard for operators, so he resorted to ~. The symbol 
> '~'
> should've been reserved for an "approximately equal" operator, 
> useful in
> comparing floating-point numbers (which as we know usually 
> shouldn't be
> compared with equality due to roundoff errors), like this:
> 	if (a ~ b) { ... }
> rather than today's baroque dance of:
> 	if (fabs(b-a) < EPSILON) { ... }

Yep! Though, I like D's '~' as append operator for arrays. Though 
I i'm not sure this wouldn't work better:

     a, b: [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

     a += b[2] // appends b[0] to a
     a[] += b[2] // adds b[0]'s value to all of a

Seeing as how your right, '~' means "about" in math.

> And what about:
> 	.	with	: or ;
> OK. The symbol '.' is supposed to be used for the end of a 
> sentence. At
> least, so we were told in grade school. In the case of 
> programming, it
> should denote the end of a statement. So why is it that ';' is 
> used to
> end statements, and '.' to access struct/class members? It 
> seems so
> bass-ackwards. A semicolon (or a colon) is much more suitable 
> for what
> amounts to a name composed of parts (module:object:property), 
> because
> they signify partial stop, implying there's more to come. The 
> period (or
> full-stop for you brits) '.' should be used to *end* 
> statements, not to
> *continue* a multi-part name.

I don't think lines need ending marks at all. So, seeing as how 
':' takes two key presses and '.' only takes one, I'd opt to keep 
that as the default member-access operator.

> But who am I to speak out against more than four decades of 
> historical
> accidents, right? I think I'll shut up now.

Nothing wrong with being creative ;-) Even if we know these 
changes will most likely never be used. I've been experimenting 
with LLVM to write a proof-of-concept for Tuple syntax, language 
State-objects, and a modularized compiler designed to be also be 
an IDE parser. Just a simple test obviously, but I'm using these 
syntax concepts. Thanks for the input.

More information about the Digitalmars-d mailing list