Worst ideas/features in programming languages?

Paul Backus snarwin at gmail.com
Tue Oct 12 20:29:32 UTC 2021

On Tuesday, 12 October 2021 at 19:41:57 UTC, H. S. Teoh wrote:
> - C++ concepts-like feature of specifying the expected 
> interface of a
>   template parameter.
>    - Yes, sig constraints fit the bill, kinda-sorta.  But it 
> leads to
>      poor, unhelpful error messages.  Yes, this can be fixed by 
> using
>      static if, pragma(msg), etc., but this requires a lot of 
> extra work
>      on the part of the user which should have been handled by 
> the
>      language.
>    - Yes, there's a dub package that kinda-sorta does this. But 
> again,
>      this is something that should have been done by the 
> language.

You can get about 90% of the way to better constraint errors with 
existing language features:

     struct Check
         bool passed;
         string message;

         T opCast(T : bool)() { return passed; }

     enum hasFoo(T) =
         	__traits(hasMember, T, "foo"),
             "`" ~ T.stringof ~ "` must have a member named `foo`"

     struct Pass { int foo; }
     struct Fail { int bar; }

     // Can check with static assert
     static assert(hasFoo!Pass);
     static assert(!hasFoo!Fail);

     // Works in constraints
     auto getFoo(T)(T input)
         if (hasFoo!T)
         return input.foo;

     static assert(__traits(compiles, Pass().getFoo));
     static assert(!__traits(compiles, Fail().getFoo));

     // Can check error message
     pragma(msg, hasFoo!Fail.message);

The only thing missing is a way to get the compiler to print out 
your custom message, instead of (or in addition to) the default 
"must satisfy `hasFoo!T`" message.

I plan to write a DIP for this as soon as I am done with 

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