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> > FWIW Python just had *massive* discussion about tertiary operators
> > C: t ? a : b) and came to NO conclusion, i.e. there was no consensus
> > it was not added.
> Humm.. so what?

So if there is no consensus about how this should change, it probably
won't change, which is probably why it hasn't changed up to now.

If you read:

you might some insight into how the language syntax came about, but I
can't find any specific reference to ~= ! :) It seems Lua was derived
from a mixture of Modula (control), CLU (Lisp, list passing) and Algol.
Again no ~= reference.

There is an interesting passage in the section about Lua 4 in the above

" Everyone that works with programming languages knows how easy it is
for people to start ``religious wars'' about the subject. An interesting
characteristic of those wars is that, usually, the more mundane the
subject, the hotter the discussion. For instance, people get much more
excited discussing semicolons than discussing higher-order functions. Of
course, one reason for that is that many more people have opinions about
the former than the latter. But another, more important reason is that
mundane details have a strong impact in how comfortable people feel with
the language. It is no use to create a marvelous, well-thought tool, if
it does not have a good grip -- no one will use it. "

It's almost as if we've been here before! :D