[erlang-questions] eep-0012 (Extensions to comprehensions)

David Mercer <>
Fri Aug 8 17:16:48 CEST 2008


Richard A. O'Keefe wrote:
> You haven't persuaded me, but those numbers have.

Bravo!

I, myself, have gone on record
(http://www.erlang.org/pipermail/erlang-questions/2007-August/028516.html)
in the past complaining about infix operators (or delimiters) in general.
This is in no way at all limited to Erlang; I experience it with every
programming language I use (because, alas, I have not worked in LISP in
almost 20 years).  However, on second thought, my problem is really only
with infix operators/delimiters that can take more than two arguments.

E.g., I wouldn't have a problem with "+" for addition if we limited it to
only two arguments.  "A + B" does not create an formatting/aesthetic issue
for me as much as allowing "A + B + C" does.  (See my post for reasons why I
don't like the latter.)  If an infix "+" operator only permitted two
arguments, then we would have to decide between "(A + B) + C" and "A + (B +
C)", which is decidedly inconvenient in this case, since addition is
associative.  Doubly so, since it is also commutative, and we might want to
reorder the arguments.

I note, however, to my chagrin, that Erlang isn't alone in not adopting a
more LISP-like syntax (cf. C, Java, Algol, PL/I, Ada, Pascal, Basic, Perl,
etc. etc.).  Should it?  Bit late now, and much as it bugs me, I'm still
going to write my Erlang in Erlang rather than LFE.  At least Erlang offers
an alternative syntax, though I don't know whether you would characterize it
as being production-ready yet.

Cheers,

David




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