Goto Considered Harmful [was Re: Python and the need for speed]

Rustom Mody rustompmody at gmail.com
Thu Apr 13 23:06:31 EDT 2017


On Friday, April 14, 2017 at 7:03:24 AM UTC+5:30, Steve D'Aprano wrote:
> On Fri, 14 Apr 2017 04:09 am, Rustom Mody wrote:

> > [Sorry its a vague memory of something I read more than a decade ago that
> > [I cant
> > trace again]
> > Some unknown Cobol programmer talking about Dijkstra:
> > 
> > Dijkstra used his enormous prestige to destroy Cobol.
> > We lost a great deal
> > What did he gain?
> > Ok so Cobol's control constructs are below par
> > But do any of its modern successors have its data-describing properties?
> > [the PIC clause]
> 
> If PIC is so great, why do no other languages have it?
> 
> That's a serious question, not a rhetorical question.

Dunno enough about Cobol and that ecosystem to make a useful comment
However your question is really two:
1. Whats good about Cobol's PIC?
2. Why dont other languages have it/that benefit?

1st as I said I dont feel qualified to answer
2nd is ridiculous. Because of collective stupidity:
- Species go extinct
- Garbage fills the oceans
- Fukushima fallout reaches Canada
- And in general good, valuable things die out
> 
> "Imminent Death Of Cobol Predicted. Again."
> 
> When the sun finally expands into a supergiant in five billion years,
> destroying the earth, the last survivors to die will be COBOL-programming
> cockroaches and Keith Richards.

> > Maybe that's a response to similar violent, unnecessary barbs from
> > Dijkstra?
> 
> "Violent"?
> 
> Are you one of those people who think that calling a person an idiot is
> morally indistinguishable from beating them into a coma?
> 
> "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but that's nothing to the harm
> caused by a few mean words."

You are treating violence as literal physical violence.
Thats backwards. Ultimately all violence is moral
Else an orthopaedic sawing off a knee to replace or a dentist yanking out a 
molar would be felons


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