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- Subject: Re: Say No to global-by-default (summary of the discussion)
- From: Lorenzo Donati <lorenzodonatibz@...>
- Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2018 11:55:57 +0200
On 17/07/2018 22:37, Egor Skriptunoff wrote:
Last time I proposed "$" prefix because some programming languages (Perl,
bash, PHP) have variable names prefixed with "$".
But it seems some people dislike any similarities with Perl :-)
"$" was also criticized because it requires pressing SHIFT on a keyboard,
and programmers are usually lazy (laziness is the first great virtue of a
programmer, according to Larry Wall)
Ok, let's stop talking about Perl :-)
This time I show another possible prefix: the backslash.
Backslash is not used in Lua syntax (except inside quoted strings), so why
Sorry if my answer doesn't cover all the details you covered.
I don't agree and that's why. To me it all boils down to two annoying
aspects of what Lua would become with your proposal:
1. I really don't like optional syntax just to avoid "spelling
mistakes". One of the benefit of Lua vs. Java and C++ is its small
"human-memory footprint": I don't have to remember lots of details just
to understand code *written by others*.
I might not use the "backslash notation" in my code, so I could forget
about it, then I find some nice snippets of code from other people and
then it takes much longer to decode or to integrate in my code base (and
I'm no longer a professional developer, I imagine the nightmare of
integrating two pieces of code with same "semantics" but different
2. Worse still: I hate sigils on var names. It's a sort of dumbed-down
namespace functionality and to my "parser mind" is extremely distracting
(that's the same with MS hungarian notation, but I grew used to that in
my occasional incursions in Windows API).
I would rather like a more full-fledged namespace functionality that
didn't occur run-time penalties (like table access does), but I'm not
sure how this would impact the size of Lua (and its overall usefulness
could be debatable).
Moreover, anytime I see a non-alphnum symbol my mind tends to interpret
it as an operator. It's not a matter of laziness in writing, but again,
it is distracting when *reading* (especially debugging code) and it
slows me down.
I am used to prefixes a la LaTeX, but then my mind is switched to
"markup language" mode, and anyway, I don't like LaTeX syntax too much
On the other hand I understand that in a substantially declarative
language where code is mainly plain text interspersed with
formatting/structuring commands keywords with sigils make sense, because
they help you locate markup more easily in a sea of text (and they are
lighter than HTML/XML tags). But I'm digressing.
Bottom line: your proposal would make my Lua experience more painful
I chose Lua as my main language years ago over Python as it was
lightweight and its syntax was clean and easy to remember, even If I had
to cope with it's lack of officially endorsed standard libraries; yes
lots of high-quality one-man efforts, but these tend to be abandoned on
the long run, especially if they are "hobby-projects".
I ended-up rolling my own (yep, substandard and not really complete, but
good for my own use cases, and I can find a bug in them in a breeze),
sometimes adapting code from others. This latter part is important: my
efforts would have been much greater in understanding other people's
code if the syntax had been more complex.
my 2 EURocent;