Indentations and future evolution of languages

John Nagle nagle at animats.com
Tue Mar 10 18:55:05 CET 2009


Kay Schluehr wrote:
> On 6 Mrz., 02:53, bearophileH... at lycos.com wrote:
>> This is an interesting post, it shows me that fitness plateau where
>> design of Python syntax lives is really small, you can't design
>> something just similar:
>>
>> http://unlimitednovelty.com/2009/03/indentation-sensitivity-post-mort...
>>
>> Living on a small fitness plateau isn't good, even if it's very high,
>> because it's evolutionary unstable :-(
>> Indentation-wise Haskell syntax seems one of the very few local maxima
>> that is close enough to the little fitness plateau where Python is.
>>
>> Bye,
>> bearophile
> 
> Here is a somewhat longer comment:
> 
> http://fiber-space.de/wordpress/?p=121
> 
> Take it with a grain of salt and have much fun.

    Python already has nested functions.  So anything for which you really
need a lambda function can already be done.  You just have to name
the function.

    This isn't a popular feature, because in a language with no declarations
to determine scope, having too many nested scopes is confusing.  But
it's there.

    As for Python indentation, that seems to work reasonably well.  The only
complaint I have there is that mixing tabs and spaces for indentation
should be detected and treated as a syntax error.  (Whether to use
tabs or spaces is a religious argument, but mixing them is clearly
wrong, and results in non-visible bugs.  CPython should enforce
that.)

				John Nagle



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