FAQ terminology harmonisation

Bjorn Gustavsson bjorn@REDACTED
Tue Apr 1 09:03:03 CEST 2003

Matthias Lang <matthias@REDACTED> writes:

> Hi,
>   behaviour: interface. In R9B-2, the directive '-public(gen_server).'
>          is a synonym for '-behaviour'. In R10, the -behaviour
> 	 directive will elicit a warning. By R11 an error.
>   list: array. Everyone knows what an array is. 
> Any further suggestions?

Actually, we think that Erlang being a functional language have
scared too many programmers, so we plan some radical changes.

The most significant change is that using the thread dictionary
(formerly known as the "process dictionary"), will no longer be
considered bad style.

To make the thread dictionary easier to use, we will add syntactic
sugar. Thus

        var := Expr

is syntactic sugar for

        put(var, Expr)

and in any expression


is syntantic sugar for


Although the ':=' is borrowed from Pascal rather than C, we still
think that C programmers will pick it up easily enough. Many C programmers
have used Turbo Pascal in the past.

put/2 and get/1 (or the syntatic sugar versions) will also be allowed
to be used in guards to extend the power of pattern matching.

We will of course also change the setelement/3 BIF to do a destructive
assignment. The syntactic sugar version will be

        array@REDACTED := Expr

The changes will be implemented in the R9D release, planned to be
released April 01, 2004.


Björn Gustavsson            Ericsson Utvecklings AB
bjorn@REDACTED      ÄT2/UAB/F/P
			    BOX 1505
+46 8 727 56 87 	    125 25 Älvsjö

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