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On 1/29/2018 5:59 AM, Sean Conner wrote:
It was thus said that the Great KHMan once stated:
[snip snip snip]
[snip snip snip]
I'm trying to think when else I did that, and while I'm sure I *have*,
nothing comes to mind immediately.

   That said, I was reminded of this article: [1]

In the blog post, the author was also searching for words to describe this switch/case thing, as I was when trying to put this phenomenon to words. He used 'intent', that we are handing over code generation to the compiler to optimize the thing, so that we can clearly focus on our intent in the switch code.

In a scripting language however, performance is less of a priority, because we have existing arguments that switch/case constructs can easily be coded by things like if-then-elseif strings, it's not needed, blah blah. We already have a lot of technical arguments, so what is the underlying non-technical issue that prompts the desire for switch/case?

IMHO, in the case of a scripting language, we have consciously or unconciously desired to structure information (code) in a certain way that humans often found useful and efficient (the time-table analogy). We wanted it presented in a certain way, so that the structured information can be most useful to the coder.

It's a bit like syntactic sugar. It's not like we decry syntactic sugar as bad or unnecessary because syntactic sugar can help present a thing more clearly, because it more closely matches things everybody knows, e.g. math norms.

Sorry if anyone on the list thinks that this seems like more like hand-waving psychology mumbo-jumbo. But past discussions have got nowhere with technical arguments. We often forget the wetware inside our skulls -- it's an important part of the coding process too. Should the brain comply obediently to language specifications, or should we help the brain to clearly express our intent. That is why we structure information, we lay out code in certain ways, etc. (Also, read Jakob Nielsen.)


[1]	Check the archives for there is a lot of good material here.  Lots
	of food for thought.

Kein-Hong Man (esq.)
Selangor, Malaysia