staschuk at telusplanet.net
Tue Feb 25 18:57:25 CET 2003
Quoth Alex Martelli:
> Terry Reedy wrote:
> > Is it still possible to add '-' as a name (and re-word) character? Or
> > does the implementation in C somehow prohibit this by requiring
> > conformance to C's name rule?
> Today, a-b does a subtraction between the value named by a and the
> value named by b. If you want to turn that into a 3-character
> identifier, and force subtraction to be spelled as "SUBTRACT b
> FROM a", I _do_ suspect you'll be better off with Cobol, really.
And likewise, if - is allowed identifier-initially, -a no longer
causes unary negation.
(- in identifiers works in Lisp at least in part because these
syntactic oddities do not arise: subtraction is (- a b) and unary
negation is (- a), I think.)
> If what you want is mandatory space between tokens, so a-b is a
> name but a - b is a subtraction -- hmmm, Dylan has that, and it
> kept tripping me up. I think it's a trap, an accident waiting to
> happen, and overall a language defect, [...]
Steven Taschuk staschuk at telusplanet.net
"I may be wrong but I'm positive." -- _Friday_, Robert A. Heinlein
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