Assignment Versus Equality

Rustom Mody rustompmody at
Mon Jun 27 10:10:07 EDT 2016

On Monday, June 27, 2016 at 7:30:05 PM UTC+5:30, Grant Edwards wrote:
> On 2016-06-26, BartC 
> > (Note, for those who don't know (old) Fortran, that spaces and tabs are 
> > not significant. So those dots are needed, otherwise "a eq b" would be 
> > parsed as "aeqb".)
> I've always been baffled by that.
> Were there other languages that did something similar?
> Why would a language designer think it a good idea?
> Did the poor sod who wrote the compiler think it was a good idea?

I think modern ideas like lexical analysis preceding parsing
and so on came some decade after Fortran.
My guess is that Fortran was first implemented -- 'somehow or other'
Then these properties emerged -- more or less bugs that had got so entrenched
that they had to be dignified as 'features'

Analogy: Python's bool as 1½-class because bool came into python a good decade
after python and breaking old code is a bigger issue than fixing control 
constructs to be bool-strict

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