[Doc-SIG] Re: docstring signatures

Greg Ward gward@mems-exchange.org
Mon, 26 Mar 2001 16:10:49 -0500

On 26 March 2001, Ka-Ping Yee said:
> This is pretty surprising.  I use Vim and it has never had any trouble
> with colourizing this kind of stuff.  It was even very easy to classify
> docstrings (based on their position in the code) separately from ordinary
> literal strings.  Python's syntax makes this easy; you just look for a
> colon at the end of the previous line.  Surely it must be possible for
> Emacs to do the same, since elisp is so much more powerful than the
> pattern language Vim uses for configuring colourization modes -- it's
> annoying to have Python code littered with all of these font-lock hints.

[...off-topic and getting worse...]

You know, the more I think about it, the more I think Emacs is the Perl or
TeX of editors: hairy, overgrown, and too big and complicated for any
ordinary mortal to grasp.  Probably the fact that Elisp is so much more
powerful is part of the reason that most Emacs modes just can't seem to get
it right -- probably Elisp is *too* powerful (or *too* complicated, take
your pick).  IOW, Elisp is the problem, not the solution.

Amusing anecdote [even more off-topic]: one of the stated reasons that the
package delimiter changed from ' to :: in Perl 5 was so that Emacs wouldn't
get confused.  (Although why $foo'bar was ever considered a good way to
denote variable 'bar' in package 'foo' is beyond me...)

Back to your ordinary doc-sig... and turn off your flamethrowers, I'll
probably keep using Emacs until they pry the keyboard from my cold, dead
fingers... (or until somebody invents Pymacs ;-)