DIP 1028---Make @safe the Default---Community Review Round 1

Walter Bright newshound2 at digitalmars.com
Wed Jan 8 02:48:19 UTC 2020

On 1/6/2020 3:59 PM, Manu wrote:
> Well all feedback I've received is that it fails at the rule of least
> surprise. Definitely not intuitive what it means.

I'm frankly surprised at this. Yours is literally the first complaint about 
using `system` in 10 years that has come to my ears.

Also, a safe/unsafe dichotomy can make sense. But a safe/trusted/unsafe makes 
less sense, like a 3 state boolean.

> I think it may be possible to see and consider the situation
> differently when looking from a safe-by-default perspective; today
> where 'system' is default, you wouldn't want to advertise the language
> as "unsafe by default"... but if safe is default, than 'unsafe' feels
> a lot more reasonable for the exceptions. I reckon the change in
> default may change your judgement that you describe above.

`static` in C makes no particular sense, but people are so used to it that they 
imagine it makes perfect sense :-)

Nobody expects to be able to implement a storage allocator in code that is 
provably correct. Nobody expects the implementation of atomic shared operations 
to to be provably. People have historically called such underpinnings "system" 
code (long before there was a notion of "unsafe"), where the dirty but necessary 
work happens. Steamships had white-glove service to the passengers, and the 
greasy dirty work went on in the "system" under the decks to support it all.

Whether "system" is intuitive or not is how you frame it. It's a perfect 
moniker. It is not "unsafe", it just means the compiler cannot prove it safe.

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