PEP 3107 and stronger typing (note: probably a newbie question)

Donn Cave donn at u.washington.edu
Fri Jul 13 20:52:06 CEST 2007


In article <7x1wfcviqx.fsf at ruckus.brouhaha.com>,
 Paul Rubin <http://phr.cx@NOSPAM.invalid> wrote:

> Ben Finney <bignose+hates-spam at benfinney.id.au> writes:
> > This is interesting. Do you have any references we can read about this
> > assertion -- specifically, that "GOTO" was not well loved (I assume
> > "by the programming community at large") even by around 1966?
>     
> Dijkstra's famous 1968 "GOTO considered harmful" letter
> (http://www.acm.org/classics/oct95/) quotes a 1966 article by N. Wirth
> and C.A.R. Hoare:
> 
>     The remark about the undesirability of the go to statement is far from
>     new. I remember having read the explicit recommendation to restrict
>     the use of the go to statement to alarm exits, but I have not been
>     able to trace it; presumably, it has been made by C. A. R. Hoare. In
>     [1, Sec. 3.2.1.] Wirth and Hoare together make a remark in the same
>     direction in motivating the case construction: "Like the conditional,
>     it mirrors the dynamic structure of a program more clearly than go to
>     statements and switches, and it eliminates the need for introducing a
>     large number of labels in the program."
> 
>     Reference: 1. Wirth, Niklaus, and Hoare C. A. R.  A contribution
>     to the development of ALGOL. Comm. ACM 9 (June 1966), 413-432.

So, all I need is comments from a computer scientist or two,
pointing out problems with the procedural/imperative programming
model, and we can establish that it was already hated and on its
way out by the late 90's?  How about OOP?  Already on its way out
by the time Python 1.0 hit the streets?

The thing that allows us to be so smug about the follies of the
past, is that we can pretend everyone knew better.

   Donn Cave, donn at u.washington.edu



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