New to Python - block grouping (spaces)

Rustom Mody rustompmody at gmail.com
Sun Apr 19 16:01:12 CEST 2015


On Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 5:15:07 PM UTC+5:30, BartC wrote:
> On 18/04/2015 03:22, Rustom Mody wrote:
> > On Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 6:49:30 AM UTC+5:30, Dan Sommers wrote:
> >> On Fri, 17 Apr 2015 18:05:52 +0100, BartC wrote:
> >>
> >>> (Actually *I* would quite like to know why languages don't have
> >>> switchable syntax anyway to allow for people's personal preferences.)
> >>
> >> You want LISP, the programmable programming language.
> 
> I don't really want Lisp (not even with a shiny new syntax).

You do... See below

> 
> > You got it!!
> > One of the deep paradoxes in 'getting' programming is that you cant do
> > programming without some syntax; and yet syntax is irrelevant.
> 
> Yes, exactly!
> 
> When I sometimes want to code in Python, why can't I used my usual syntax?
> 
> The tabbing isn't so much of a big deal, but, for example, I normally 
> use ":=" and  "=" for Python's "=" and "==" operators, and it can be a 
> nuisance when switching between syntaxes. (At least Python picks up the 
> use of "=" inside an expression, unlike C...)

See McCarthy's interview
http://www.infoq.com/interviews/Steele-Interviews-John-McCarthy
This is after a life of Lisp and AI -- he died a couple of years after the interview.
And in there he repeatedly asks for 'abstract syntax' languages -- as I see it
the same as you are asking

Of course one needs to distinguish Lisp-technology from Lisp-philosophy.
I believe you and McCarthy are asking for Lisp philosophy as I am also:
http://blog.languager.org/2012/10/html-is-why-mess-in-programming-syntax.html

JFTR: The specific connection with html is somewhat facetious
That programmers are stuck in text files 50 years after everyone else has moved 
on is more serious



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