f*cking re module

Rocco Moretti roccomoretti at hotpop.com
Fri Jul 8 16:29:35 CEST 2005


François Pinard wrote:

> I once worked with a PL/I compiler (on a big IBM mainframe), which was
> trying to be helpful by spitting pages of:
> 
>     Error SUCH AND SUCH, assuming that THIS AND THIS was meant.
> 
> and continuing compilation nevertheless.  It was a common joke to say
> that PL/I would compile some random valid program out of any garbage!

We may laugh now (and then), but it was likely a valid design decision 
at the time. If you're running a job on "big iron", depending on the 
situation, you might have had only a block of a few hours on a 
timeshared system, perhaps unattended. If the compiler refused to 
continue, the rest of your block might have been wasted. (At the very 
least, you would have had to sign up for an additional block later.)

If your program had only minor errors, there was likely a good chance 
that the compiler might guess correctly, and your program would compile 
to what you wanted in the first place. If not, by continuing on, the 
compiler can flag additional errors later in your code, allowing you to 
fix those bugs sooner. (Instead of choking on the first one and refusing 
to continue.)

Error-checking-by-compiling only "works" if you have cheap computing 
power you can run attended. (Can you imagine what TDD would be like if 
you had to wait 24+ hrs between code executions?)




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