[erlang-questions] Erlang Syntax - again

fess fess-erlang@REDACTED
Tue Mar 11 01:17:25 CET 2008

On Mar 10, 2008, at 4:28 PM, Chandru wrote:

> I was new to the language ten years ago. I didn't understand how I
> could write serious programs with single assignment. 30 minutes later
> that problem was solved. I've never really looked back since then. All
> the complaints about erlang seem whimsical at best and attention
> seeking at worst.

I find the syntax termination to be annoying,  I never get it right,  
the complier always gives me some misplaced ';', '.', or ','   
somewhere so it slows me down,  I do slowly get better at it  
overtime, but it's extra mental energy. So what I'd like the syntax  
to allow reordering  of lines via editor's cut in paste to less  
frequently break code, not to mention be simpler to enter the first  

Maybe that's whimsical.

However,  imagine all the mental energy as each programer re-learns  
some idiosyncratic thing that could be saved in the cases where those  
idiosyncrasies can be eliminated.  Say it takes 30mins to get over  
Single Assignment,  that probably has enough value to be worth it.  
[ well at least I think it does ]  but if you can give back 30min  
[ more? ] to millions of programmers   who keep getting compiler  
errors do to a reordering of lines causing the wrong terminator in  
the wrong place  well, that's a whole lot of time to give back to the  
world.   Of course then they'll just use that time to complain about  
whimsical stuff.

Anyhow,  it seems that code is the humans interface to instructing  
the machines what to do,  and as such it should be a very human  
interface.  Of course what that is is very debatable,  but in the end  
it's probably worth it to constantly improve the interface.


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