Re: type declarations

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Re: type declarations

Angelo Bertolli

> Ragnar Schroder wrote:
>
>>> ... they must be in the same type block.
>>> Anyways, it's how pascal works
>>
>>
>>
>> I'd like to echo that.  Let Pascal stay Pascal.  Simple syntax and
>> fast compiler.  I for one  really appreciate the Pascal way,  even
>> though I've mostly used other languages in the  past.
>
>
> :-)
>
> Thing is, not only do I love Pascal, but --here is the difference--
> I have always used Pascal, all my life :-)


Then why did this confuse you?  And why on earth would you want to
weaken Pascal's rules which happen to be its strengths?  There is no
reason why a developer shouldn't know the language they are using.  
Pascal is a well-established language.  Most of the reason I've always
used Pascal is because of it's strict adherance to certain rules and
philosophies, and it's Wirthian nature.  Pascal is the philosophy, not
the syntax.




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Re: Re: type declarations

Adem
>> Thing is, not only do I love Pascal, but --here is the difference--
>> I have always used Pascal, all my life :-)
>
> Then why did this confuse you?  And why on earth would you want to
> weaken Pascal's rules which happen to be its strengths?  There is no
> reason why a developer shouldn't know the language they are using.  
> Pascal is a well-established language.  Most of the reason I've always
> used Pascal is because of it's strict adherance to certain rules and
 > philosophies, and it's Wirthian nature.  Pascal is the philosophy,
 > not the syntax.

IMO, there are things that are pertinent to the core of the
philosphy, and there are other things.

Let's begin with Wirth and 'Wirthian nature'...

Well, I respect him a lot, but that does not mean I have to
worship him. And, I daresay that applies to a lot of Pascal
lovers...

Let's now briefly touch the statement that 'Pascal is a
well-established language'...

The Pascal I used first did not know a thing about objects,
dynamic arrays; operator overloading, nor did it know how to
treat strings, among a number of other things..

And, on the topic of 'adherance to certain rules and philosophies'..

Luckily, people then were not so adamanat about --so called---
Wirthian nature of Pascal... including Wirth himself; just look
at the things Wirth altered in Modula/Oberon series.

So... Not only the 'strict adherance to certain rules' thing
is not cast in stone, but also --it seems-- can change from
one version of the same compiler to the other...

Finally, about 'Pascal is the philosophy, not the syntax'..

As far as I gather, the only philosophy behind Pascal was
to remove ambiguity in written code. And, that's it.

If there is no ambiguity, why worry about whether it
conforms to some mystical/celestial strictness..

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Re: Re: type declarations

L505

|
| IMO, there are things that are pertinent to the core of the
| philosphy, and there are other things.
|
| Let's begin with Wirth and 'Wirthian nature'...
|
| Well, I respect him a lot, but that does not mean I have to
| worship him. And, I daresay that applies to a lot of Pascal
| lovers...
|
| Let's now briefly touch the statement that 'Pascal is a
| well-established language'...
|
| The Pascal I used first did not know a thing about objects,
| dynamic arrays; operator overloading, nor did it know how to
| treat strings, among a number of other things..
|
| And, on the topic of 'adherance to certain rules and philosophies'..
|
| Luckily, people then were not so adamanat about --so called---
| Wirthian nature of Pascal... including Wirth himself; just look
| at the things Wirth altered in Modula/Oberon series.
|
| So... Not only the 'strict adherance to certain rules' thing
| is not cast in stone, but also --it seems-- can change from
| one version of the same compiler to the other...
|
| Finally, about 'Pascal is the philosophy, not the syntax'..
|
| As far as I gather, the only philosophy behind Pascal was
| to remove ambiguity in written code. And, that's it.
|
| If there is no ambiguity, why worry about whether it
| conforms to some mystical/celestial strictness..


I agree that basic idea is that if you -aim- for some strictness and structure, you
are least have those strong aims and goals. No one would be able to read English if we
all had sets of our own dictionaries without any rules. You have to have some strong
aims or goals... but there is nothing wrong with modifying things to make them better.
Adding words to the dictionary is not a sin if we need them.. but half the people in
the world cannot be calling cats catolas, and the other half calling cats catties.

Sometimes, things need to be significantly modified. (i.e. when classes and objects
were introduced obviously this was an improvement), but new rules should come along
with this new improvement. There is room for improvisation.

I particularly like how Pascal happens to be more "blockish" and "vertical" on the
screen. It reads like paragraphs do, instead of sticks and stones all over the place.
It's not just the syntax or the rules, it's also the way it reads on the screen, and
the words people use to describe things. If it's a procedure, I want to know that it's
a procedure.. I don't want it to be a proc.. because that could be a process, or a
proclaim. But there are times for short-forms, i.e. regexes. But when programming the
majority of the time (string processing with regexes is not the majority of the time)
I want to know for sure what I am doing.. is this a procedure, or is this a process,
or a proclaim, or a procrastination? Is *&^ a procedure, or a swear word? Is this a
function or a procedure? I don't want to be fooled with void or "nil resulting
function", I just want to know that it's a procedure. It's not that much effort to
just type procedure out, so why call it a "nil resulting function" or a "function that
doesn't return something".


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Wirth and 'Wirthian nature'...

Mark Emerson
While the group is on the topic of Wirth and 'Wirthian nature'... I think some background might help, particularly for the younger people....

In 1985 I attended a conference in Palo Alto, California, of the Modula 2 Users' Association.  There were about 150 of us there, possibly including some of you.  It was perhaps the most high-powered intellectual group (of that size) I've ever been in.  More than half of those present were compiler writers.  Borland had a couple of guys there showing off a pre-beta version of their Turbo Modula 2 compiler (running in a 64K DOS environment) that I later beta tested, but that never got released.

On the last day of the conference, I asked the group to take a straw vote on whether the underscore should be permitted in Modula 2 indentifiers.  (Wirth excluded underscores from the language specification, and none of the compilers had them.  Modula 2 is case sensitive, and Wirth modeled identifiers InMixedCaseFormatLikeThis, a format that many people, including me, can't stand to look at.)

To my utter astonishment, the conference deteriorated from worthy intellectual discussions into "religion".  The group divided roughly in half between pro-underscorist and anti-underscorist.  The two Borland guys were in the pro-underscorist group. 

The reasons in favor of the underscore are several and obvious, and today, most languages support them.

There is only *ONE* reason that was offered by the anti-underscorist group to exclude underscores from the language... and it was an emotionally-charged reason.  Guess what it was?  Here it is:

"Underscores are not Wirthian."

These otherwise brilliant people were worshipping Wirth to the point of absurdity.  I talked with Wirth on the phone once, and he's not a die-hard anti-underscorist.  He's a humble professor who NEVER had any idea Pascal would become so hugely important in the world.  Had I been in the right place at the right time, I'm pretty sure I could have convinced him to include the underscore in the Modula 2 spec.

Mark Emerson

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Re: Wirth and 'Wirthian nature'...

Adem
Mark Emerson wrote:

[...]

> The reasons in favor of the underscore are several and obvious, and today, most
> languages support them.
>
> There is only *ONE* reason that was offered by the anti-underscorist group to
> exclude underscores from the language... and it was an emotionally-charged
> reason.  Guess what it was?  Here it is:
>
> "Underscores are not Wirthian."
>
> These otherwise brilliant people were worshipping Wirth to the point of
> absurdity.  I talked with Wirth on the phone once, and he's not a die-hard
> anti-underscorist.  He's a humble professor who NEVER had any idea Pascal would
> become so hugely important in the world.  Had I been in the right place at the
> right time, I'm pretty sure I could have convinced him to include the underscore
> in the Modula 2 spec.

Mark, I'd like thank you for this not because it falls inline with
what I believe, but for something completely different too.

And, here is what I think it is:

Although quite young compared to Wirth (or me :-) ), Florian is
[ see http://www.freepascal.org/aboutus.html for Florian Klämpfl]
an important figure in the Free Pascal world. [See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Pascal ]

And, since FPC is on the verge of being hugely more successful,
he too will be placed on a pedestal be worshipped whether Florian
wants it or not --just like Wirth and other well-meaning,
practical-problem-solvers cum prophets are.

I would not want him to say yes to everything, especially if
they would undermine important foundations of Pascal, but, at
the same time, he should be most careful when saying no too;
for [the fear of/that] he will be intepreted in ways he would
never have imagined so much so that might hinder the improvement
of [Free] Pascal in years to come.

Cheers,
Ray


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