Obsolesence of <>

Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters mertz at gnosis.cx
Fri Jun 1 10:40:41 EDT 2001

"Alex Martelli" <aleaxit at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> In the end, spelling is arbitrary, of course.  But having families
>> of corresponding spellings for corresponding semantics makes it
>> easier to remember a language, and to teach it.

|Exactly.  Teaching (and teachees' remembering:-) is my focus
|on such issues.  "lesser/greater" is the WRONG suggestion to
|impart syntactically when desired semantics is "not equal",
|given that "a<b or a>b" and "a <> b" behave differently.  Not
|that != is ideal, of course, but at least it avoids such
|specific "subliminal misinformation"

I entirely agree with Alex that the subliminal message of "<>" has
gotten much worse in 2.1.  OTOH, I really can't see how to construe the
loss of universal inequality operators as a good thing.  I'm starting to
believe it a sin on the order of "print >> file" :-(.  Spelling is just
spelling, of course, but some spelling is better than other spelling (as
the Orwell thread reminds one).

However--hopefully not belaboring the point--my problem with "!=" is
that it contains much stronger subliminal misinformation, even still,
than "<>" does.  "!=" just plain LOOKS like it should be an augmented
assignment.  Admittedly, *this* only "broke" in 2.0.  But I think I can
make a strong argument that there are more users of 2.0+ than there are
of 2.1+.

What-the-heck-is-wrong-with-.NE.-ly yours, Lulu...

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