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C Syntax

Why is C syntax so uneasy on the eye?

In its day, was it _really_ designed by snobby programmers to scare away
potential "n00bs"? If so, and after 50+ years of programming research,
why are programming languages still being designed with C's syntax?

These questions drive me insane. Every waking minute...
Nov 14 '05
177 7148
"Malcolm" <ma*****@55bank .freeserve.co.u k> wrote in message news:<c9******* ***@newsg4.svr. pol.co.uk>...
"Dan Pop" <Da*****@cern.c h> wrote in message

More likely, because BASIC is easier to learn than most other
programming languages. It's also well interfaced with other
Microsoft products, like Excel.

If someone is interested in becoming an amateur programmer on
Windows,
I can't imagine anything more suitable for the purpose than VB.

I'm a BASIC implementer myself, so I wouldn't say anything against the
language. I'd say that the main strength of BASIC is that it is so easy to
write an interpreter - obviously that is now irrelevant to a company with
the resources of Microsoft. That's why it was included on all the 80s
vintage microcomputers, and why I learnt it as my first programming
language.


It's also possible to write an interpreter using very little memory.
Which can be difficult for other languages.
Nov 14 '05 #141
Dan Pop wrote:
"Arthur J. O'Dwyer" <aj*@nospam.and rew.cmu.edu> writes:
On Thu, 3 Jun 2004, Dan Pop wrote:

[re: hard tabs]
A typical example is vi, which "optimises" the storage of the
saved text by replacing multiple spaces by HTs according to
the ts variable setting. Since I have found no portable way
of disabling this feature, I'm setting ts to 100 in my .exrc.


I'm sure you've thought of this, but what happens if you set
ts to 0? I would expect either that it would disable the
"feature" altogether, or that you'd get an error from vi.


The latter. vi's response to "set ts=0":

Argument must be positive: ts=0


What an ugly mechanism. Does that also apply to VIM? I have
sometimes considered installing VIM just to have my editing habits
portable, but that is too big a penalty to pay.

--
fix (vb.): 1. to paper over, obscure, hide from public view; 2.
to work around, in a way that produces unintended consequences
that are worse than the original problem. Usage: "Windows ME
fixes many of the shortcomings of Windows 98 SE". - Hutchison
Nov 14 '05 #142
"Mike" <no***@hotmail. com> wrote in message
news:#y******** ******@tk2msftn gp13.phx.gbl...
>foo = lambda x, y: [str (i+j) for (i,j) in zip(x,y)]
>
>I don't understand, how several dozens lines of code can be
>better than ONE line of code in non-esoteric language.

As you said, it's not very clear ;-) Actually, you'll have to define
"better" before you're qualified to offer an opinion.
What is the reason to have syntax that is clearer-per-line, if it
requires to write several times more lines of code?


The functional versional would be compact and neat, but almost certainly
slower to exectue; the imperative version would be bigger, uglier, but

most probably faster. No one can claim that one is better than another, as it
completely depends on what you are trying to achieve.


I agree with you, but the discussion is about _clear_ syntaxes.

Ivan.
Nov 14 '05 #143
On Fri, 4 Jun 2004, CBFalconer wrote:

C>Dan Pop wrote:
C>> "Arthur J. O'Dwyer" <aj*@nospam.and rew.cmu.edu> writes:
C>>> On Thu, 3 Jun 2004, Dan Pop wrote:
C>>>>
C>>> [re: hard tabs]
C>>>> A typical example is vi, which "optimises" the storage of the
C>>>> saved text by replacing multiple spaces by HTs according to
C>>>> the ts variable setting. Since I have found no portable way
C>>>> of disabling this feature, I'm setting ts to 100 in my .exrc.
C>>>
C>>> I'm sure you've thought of this, but what happens if you set
C>>> ts to 0? I would expect either that it would disable the
C>>> "feature" altogether, or that you'd get an error from vi.
C>>
C>> The latter. vi's response to "set ts=0":
C>>
C>> Argument must be positive: ts=0
C>
C>What an ugly mechanism. Does that also apply to VIM? I have
C>sometimes considered installing VIM just to have my editing habits
C>portable, but that is too big a penalty to pay.

I use nvi for ages and have never seen such 'optimisation' there. And I
used it even on Win3.11.

harti
Nov 14 '05 #144
In article <c9**********@s unnews.cern.ch> Da*****@cern.ch (Dan Pop) writes:
On Thu, 3 Jun 2004, Dan Pop wrote:
[re: hard tabs]
A typical example is vi, which "optimises" the storage of the
saved text by replacing multiple spaces by HTs according to the ts
variable setting. Since I have found no portable way of disabling
this feature, I'm setting ts to 100 in my .exrc.
.... The latter. vi's response to "set ts=0":

Argument must be positive: ts=0


Which 'vi' is that? None of the two apply to 'vi' on Solaris, so I
expect it is something that some poor soul thought useful and implented
on some particular system.
--
dik t. winter, cwi, kruislaan 413, 1098 sj amsterdam, nederland, +31205924131
home: bovenover 215, 1025 jn amsterdam, nederland; http://www.cwi.nl/~dik/
Nov 14 '05 #145
In <sl************ ****@ID-227112.user.uni-berlin.de> Sam Dennis <sa*@malfunctio n.screaming.net > writes:
Dan Pop wrote:
A typical example is vi, which "optimises" the storage of the saved
text by replacing multiple spaces by HTs according to the ts variable
setting. Since I have found no portable way of disabling this ^^^^^^^^ feature, I'm setting ts to 100 in my .exrc.


Is there a reason why you can't use, say, VIM, which doesn't have this
problem and has an 'expandtab' option and :retab for your convenience?


Which part of "portable" was too difficult for you to understand?

I like to have a solution that works with whatever I get under the name
of "vi", rather than being tied to a certain vi implementation.

Dan
--
Dan Pop
DESY Zeuthen, RZ group
Email: Da*****@ifh.de
Nov 14 '05 #146
In <Hy*******@cwi. nl> "Dik T. Winter" <Di********@cwi .nl> writes:
In article <c9**********@s unnews.cern.ch> Da*****@cern.ch (Dan Pop) writes:
On Thu, 3 Jun 2004, Dan Pop wrote:
[re: hard tabs]
> A typical example is vi, which "optimises" the storage of the
> saved text by replacing multiple spaces by HTs according to the ts
> variable setting. Since I have found no portable way of disabling
> this feature, I'm setting ts to 100 in my .exrc.

...
The latter. vi's response to "set ts=0":

Argument must be positive: ts=0


Which 'vi' is that? None of the two apply to 'vi' on Solaris, so I
expect it is something that some poor soul thought useful and implented
on some particular system.


It's not on some particular system but on some very popular vi
implementation: vim, the default vi on most (if not all) Linux
distributions. And, as I've said, I was interested in something that
works *everywhere* there is a vi implementations .

Dan
--
Dan Pop
DESY Zeuthen, RZ group
Email: Da*****@ifh.de
Nov 14 '05 #147
In article <c9*********@su nnews.cern.ch> Da*****@cern.ch (Dan Pop) writes:
In <Hy*******@cwi. nl> "Dik T. Winter" <Di********@cwi .nl> writes:
In article <c9**********@s unnews.cern.ch> Da*****@cern.ch (Dan Pop) writes:
>On Thu, 3 Jun 2004, Dan Pop wrote:
>[re: hard tabs]
>> A typical example is vi, which "optimises" the storage of the
>> saved text by replacing multiple spaces by HTs according to the ts
>> variable setting. Since I have found no portable way of disabling
>> this feature, I'm setting ts to 100 in my .exrc.

...
The latter. vi's response to "set ts=0":

Argument must be positive: ts=0


Which 'vi' is that? None of the two apply to 'vi' on Solaris, so I
expect it is something that some poor soul thought useful and implented
on some particular system.


It's not on some particular system but on some very popular vi
implementation: vim, the default vi on most (if not all) Linux
distributions. And, as I've said, I was interested in something that
works *everywhere* there is a vi implementations .


Well, the implementation that came with the version of Linux (Fedora) I am
using does indeed disallow ts=0. But it does *not* optimise storage by
replacing multiple spaces by HTs. Just checked vim on Suse, also did not
do that. Also vim on my home machine (a Mac running MacOS) does not perform
that optimisation. Assuming that all vim's are created equal is wrong.
(But I suspect that you are using some obscure option that forces this
feature.)
--
dik t. winter, cwi, kruislaan 413, 1098 sj amsterdam, nederland, +31205924131
home: bovenover 215, 1025 jn amsterdam, nederland; http://www.cwi.nl/~dik/
Nov 14 '05 #148
>
2. Even if you don't, some text processing utilities may do it behind your
back. A typical example is vi, which "optimises" the storage of the
saved text by replacing multiple spaces by HTs according to the ts
variable setting. Since I have found no portable way of disabling this
feature, I'm setting ts to 100 in my .exrc.

I've never seen any way of preventing vi from doing this,
for vim however use expandtab in .vimrc

"second best solution" have ts=sw=x in .exrc,
have expandtab and source .exrc in .vimrc.

Thus tab free files with indentation as selected by you is
obtainable for files under your control -
still this might leave indentation a mess in files received from
elsewhere :-)

Nov 14 '05 #149
In <Hy********@cwi .nl> "Dik T. Winter" <Di********@cwi .nl> writes:
In article <c9*********@su nnews.cern.ch> Da*****@cern.ch (Dan Pop) writes:
In <Hy*******@cwi. nl> "Dik T. Winter" <Di********@cwi .nl> writes:
In article <c9**********@s unnews.cern.ch> Da*****@cern.ch (Dan Pop) writes:
> >On Thu, 3 Jun 2004, Dan Pop wrote:
> >[re: hard tabs]
> >> A typical example is vi, which "optimises" the storage of the
> >> saved text by replacing multiple spaces by HTs according to the ts
> >> variable setting. Since I have found no portable way of disabling
> >> this feature, I'm setting ts to 100 in my .exrc.
...
> The latter. vi's response to "set ts=0":
>
> Argument must be positive: ts=0

Which 'vi' is that? None of the two apply to 'vi' on Solaris, so I
expect it is something that some poor soul thought useful and implented
on some particular system.


It's not on some particular system but on some very popular vi
implementation: vim, the default vi on most (if not all) Linux
distributions. And, as I've said, I was interested in something that
works *everywhere* there is a vi implementations .


Well, the implementation that came with the version of Linux (Fedora) I am
using does indeed disallow ts=0. But it does *not* optimise storage by
replacing multiple spaces by HTs. Just checked vim on Suse, also did not
do that. Also vim on my home machine (a Mac running MacOS) does not perform
that optimisation. Assuming that all vim's are created equal is wrong.
(But I suspect that you are using some obscure option that forces this
feature.)


You're still not getting it. If no vi ever replaced my spaces by tabs
I wouldn't have searched a solution to the problem in the first place.
I don't remember which vi flavour did that, but I do remember that setting
ts to 0 didn't work and, as I've already explained, even if it worked,
it wouldn't have been a satisfactory solution.

Dan
--
Dan Pop
DESY Zeuthen, RZ group
Email: Da*****@ifh.de
Nov 14 '05 #150

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