if the else short form

Lawrence D'Oliveiro ldo at geek-central.gen.new_zealand
Mon Oct 11 03:46:26 CEST 2010


In message
<e8a79f5b-a16b-4b33-a116-93cbd07a7b62 at u5g2000prn.googlegroups.com>, 
NevilleDNZ wrote:

> Not having LIST and DICT as part of the base language would make sense
> if user contributions were encouraged.

Unfortunately, they neglected to include any kind of module/package system 
to make this kind of thing easy to do.

But then again, the state of the art in this respect at that time was 
FORTRAN, with its independent, not separate compilation. That meant there 
was no ability to check that the types, or even numbers, of arguments were 
consistent between the definition of a subprogram and a call to it.

This misfeature even carried over to C. C++ tried to finesse it by using 
name-mangling so you got some kind of error from the linker if arguments 
didn’t match, even if you couldn’t actually understand that’s what the error 
meant.

Languages that insisted on being able to do proper compiler-level cross 
checks between separately-compiled modules (e.g. Modula-2, Ada) never really 
became that popular. This saddened me.

> IMHO this is where python modules have been a big success story as it
> helps time proof the language by allowing the language to embrace new
> technologies as they establish themselves in the market place.

Nowadays we take it for granted that the core language should be a strong 
and compact basis to build on, rather than providing lots of built-in 
features, and all the rest should come from run-time libraries.



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