What is Expressiveness in a Computer Language

Gabriel Dos Reis gdr at integrable-solutions.net
Sun Jun 25 19:47:32 CEST 2006


rossberg at ps.uni-sb.de writes:

| Gabriel Dos Reis wrote:
| > |
| > | (Unfortunately, you can hardly write interesting programs in any safe
| > | subset of C.)
| >
| > Fortunately, some people do, as living job.
| 
| I don't think so. Maybe the question is what a "safe subset" consists
| of. In my book, it excludes all features that are potentially unsafe.

if you equate "unsafe" with "potentially unsafe", then you have
changed gear and redefined things on the fly, and things that could
be given sense before ceases to have meaning.  I decline following
such an uncertain, extreme, path.

| So in particular, C-style pointers are out, because they can easily
| dangle, be uninitialisied, whatever. 

sorry, the specific claim I was responding to is not whether *you* can
easily misuse C constructs.  I would refrain from generalizing your
inability to write interesting correct programs in C, to a quality of
the language itself.  Rather, the claim I was responding to is this:

  (Unfortunately, you can hardly write interesting programs in any safe
   subset of C.)

I would suggest you give more thoughts to the claims made in

  http://www.seas.upenn.edu/~sweirich/types/archive/1999-2003/msg00298.html

-- Gaby



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