New Science Discovery: Perl Detracters Remain Idiots After A Decade!

Shmuel Metz (Seymour J.) spamtrap at
Thu Mar 1 16:07:15 CET 2012

In <fgD3r.7862$_63.3414 at newsfe19.iad>, on 03/01/2012
   at 04:52 AM, Chiron <chiron613 at> said:

>Yes.  That (the mathematically defined way) is a particular way, is
>it not?

No. There is no "the mathematically defined way".

>However, I wasn't specifically referring to infix/postfix/prefix or 
>anything of that nature.  I wasn't limiting my comment to lisp
>notation in particular, since what I said applies to any language.

No, it doesn't.

>I was referring to the placement of parentheses (or other 
>groupings) to indicate to *humans* what the intended sequence 
>of events was. 

Operator precedence has the same purpose, and was around long before
computers. Quite often expressions exploiting operator precedence are
easier *for humans* to read than expressions involving deeply nested


Your exposure to Mathematics is too limited.

>and in any language with which I am familiar,

Your exposure to computer languages is too limited.

>the sequence:  2 + 6 / 3 will yield 4.

Try it in APL.

>Whenever there is *any* possibility of ambiguity, I see no reason
>not to clarify.

Even if doing so makes it harder to read? Since you keep referring to
Mathematics, I will point out that it is rare in Mathematics for
anybody to publish a complete proof. Minor steps are almost always
omitted to make for easier reading, and ambiguous shortcuts are used
in the expectation that the reader will understand what is meant.

>Back in the days when the way you wrote your code affected how  it
>was compiled,

That would be the present.

>it made sense to rely heavily on language-specific 
>features, thus saving a few bytes.

Those optimizations involved adding extraneous parentheses, not
omitting redundant parentheses.

>A few extra variables, if they help clarity, aren't going  to hurt 

And if they harm clarity?

>Let the machine do the grunt work.

That's exactly what languages with operator precedence do.

>Pamper your readers (which in a few weeks or months might be you) 
>and show exactly what you had in mind.

The two goals conflict.

>That's all I'm saying.

No; you're saying to use redundant parentheses, which conflicts with
other things you're saying.

Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz, SysProg and JOAT  <>

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