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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 7123
Grumble wrote:
C# Learner wrote:
Simply:

1) Remove the need to specify parentheses for test conditions --
substitute a test condition terminator, such as Python's ':'.

#define if if (
#define then )

int main(int argc, char **argv)
{
if argc-1 == 0 then return 666;
return 0;
}


Point taken. :-)

Still, though, if others don't do this, then, when reading others' code,
the problem (as I see it) is still there.
Nov 14 '05 #51
I. Appel wrote:

[...]
I'd say Delphi has the clearest syntax.


Delphi is boring. IMO syntax of C is much more funny.


<my opinion>
Delphi code is, in general, much more readable than C code. Therefore,
Delphi coders have an easier life than C coders.
</my opinion>

[...]
Nov 14 '05 #52
On Thu, 27 May 2004 21:08:47 +0100, C# Learner <cs****@learner .here>
wrote:

My point is that a different construct could be substituted in each case.


Making the syntax more complex, for no particular benefit that I can
see.

Parentheses, brackets and braces represent the general concept of
grouping. Even when seen in an unfamiliar context, one can get the
idea. I see no need to invent a different grouping symbology for each
use.

Everyone understands the symmetry between '(' and ')'. The symmetry
between 'if' and ':' is not nearly as intuitive. And now you propose
that each case that requires a grouping operator have a different
construct?

Of course, you say "could be substituted", which is obviously true. It
would certainly add a new dimension to the obfuscated C contests.

--
Al Balmer
Balmer Consulting
re************* ***********@att .net
Nov 14 '05 #53

"C# Learner" <cs****@learner .here> wrote in message
news:Or******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP12.phx.gbl...
Grumble wrote:
C# Learner wrote:
Simply:

1) Remove the need to specify parentheses for test conditions --
substitute a test condition terminator, such as Python's ':'.

#define if if (
#define then )

int main(int argc, char **argv)
{
if argc-1 == 0 then return 666;
return 0;
}


Point taken. :-)

Still, though, if others don't do this, then, when reading others' code,
the problem (as I see it) is still there.


The 'problem' of not understanding a language's syntax,
is solved by learning it.

The 'problem' of disliking a language's syntax,
is solved by using a different language (whose syntax you
do like).

-Mike
Nov 14 '05 #54
On Thu, 27 May 2004 21:11:28 +0100, in comp.lang.c , C# Learner
<cs****@learner .here> wrote:
Mark McIntyre wrote:

Okay, I'll bite. Why on earth do you consider this in any way an
improvement? What difference does it make to anything?
I believe that it'd improve code readability.


I disagree. The delimiter helps mark the ends of the various parts of the
statement. With only whitespace to work with, compound statements become
almost impossible to correctly read.
Have you noticed how, in
langauges which use such syntax, .....they use spaces because of the fact that parentheses are used both
in test conditions and function calls. As far as I see, when doing so,
they're just attempting to work around a syntactical design flaw of the
language.


Gonads. This is nothing more than a style thing. French people put two
spaces after a full stop. English people don't. Same idea.

--
Mark McIntyre
CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
CLC readme: <http://www.angelfire.c om/ms3/bchambless0/welcome_to_clc. html>
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Nov 14 '05 #55
C# Learner wrote:
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...


This is an obvious troll. Please Ignore it.
Nov 14 '05 #56
Grumble <a@b.c> writes:
C# Learner wrote:
Simply:
1) Remove the need to specify parentheses for test conditions --
substitute a test condition terminator, such as Python's ':'.


#define if if (
#define then )

int main(int argc, char **argv)
{
if argc-1 == 0 then return 666;
return 0;
}


Yes, that's very clever. Please don't do it in any code that I might
ever have to maintain, or read -- or that anyone else might ever have
to maintain or read.

--
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keit h) ks***@mib.org <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.
Nov 14 '05 #57
qe*@pobox.com (Paul Hsieh) writes:
[...]
C has plenty of ambiguity:

- Braces are optional if there is only one statement for if() or for() or
while(). (But not for do ... while(), switch, or structure/union
declarations.)


That's not an ambiguity, it just means there's more than one way to
write a given program. The fact that braces are optional in many
contexts does not imply that there is any C program that can be
interpreted in any of two or more ways; the interpretation is
unambiguous in each case.

--
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keit h) ks***@mib.org <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.
Nov 14 '05 #58
C# Learner <cs****@learner .here> writes:
Kieran Simkin wrote:

[...]
Obviously this entire post is off-topic. Python is not C, C will never be
Python and you've cross-posted to C# which is not C either.


Hmm... I have to disagree. I feel that this discussion is about C's
basic syntax and its ubiquity in popular modern-day languages.

If such a discussion is off-topic for comp.lang.c, then I honestly
don't know quite where it would be /on/-topic. In fact, I even
considered renaming the subject of this post to 'Re: C Syntax', but
didn't want to enrage people by doing so.


Discussion of how other languages have influenced C would be topical
in comp.lang.c. Discussion of how C has influenced a hypothetical
language Foo would be topical (I presume) in comp.lang.foo. But if
you want to discuss how C has influenced other languages in general,
that's probably a good topic for comp.lang.misc.

--
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keit h) ks***@mib.org <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.
Nov 14 '05 #59
Da*****@cern.ch (Dan Pop) wrote:

None of the programming languages assigning semantics to indentation
has ever become mainstream. There must be a reason...


The language of makefiles?
(Before you say "it isn't a language", it seems to be as much
a language as Prolog is)
Nov 14 '05 #60

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