Cleaning up conditionals

Rustom Mody rustompmody at
Sun Jan 1 09:20:47 EST 2017

On Sunday, January 1, 2017 at 3:39:14 PM UTC+5:30, Deborah Swanson wrote:
> Sorry guys. I've read all your responses and I kind of get their general
> drift, but I'm about four sheets to the wind right now, and no way would
> I make it more than a step or two in playing around with these things
> and trying to get my head around them before it would all descend into a
> cacaphony of gibberish.

Its true that in most programming languages one is likely to see,
a conditional (if) statement is likely harder to grok than a conditional 
expression ie if the expression is allowed at all!!
Just as recursion is supposedly harder than repetition,
List comprehensions harder than for-loops
etc etc

This is true culturally and historically but not necessarily.

>From the more conceptual viewpoint they are duals; see table at

Of course if one has grown up with assignment (and even more so the print 
statement) being (imagined to be) easy and natural and obvious, this logically 
unnecessary but culturally inevitable sense of difficulty will be there... unfortunately.

tl;dr Above is unlikely to help reduce the confusion.  The essential ideas 
behind the jargon called 'functional programming' would go a good way towards that.

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