Re: Pointers to "why C behaves like that ?"

"Manos Renieris" <er+cc@cs.brown.edu>
20 Nov 2002 15:34:12 -0500

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Re: Pointers to "why C behaves like that ?" mwotton@cse.unsw.edu.au (Mark Alexander Wolton) (2002-11-20)
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From: "Manos Renieris" <er+cc@cs.brown.edu>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 20 Nov 2002 15:34:12 -0500
Organization: Brown University
References: 02-11-059 02-11-071 02-11-083 02-11-097
Keywords: design, types
Posted-Date: 20 Nov 2002 15:34:12 EST

On 17 Nov 2002 23:18:32 -0500, Robert A Duff <bobduff@shell01.TheWorld.com>
wrote:
> "WONG SAI-KEE" <skwong@sun80.acae.cuhk.edu.hk> writes:
>
>> Gayev.D.G.=?koi8-r?Q?=3Cdg=C1ev=40mail=2Eru=3E?=@mail.rsl.ru wrote:
>> : WONG SAI-KEE wrote:
>>
>> : Most modern languages require variables (as well as other objects) to
>>
>> But, languages like HyperCard, VisualBasic (I was told) do not.
>
> Languages should be designed primarily for the human reader.
> Declarations make programs easier to understand, presuming you are
> declaring useful information (useful to the human reader).
>
> Somebody mentioned type inference in ML. My opinion is: it's nice
> *within* a single function, but the *interfaces* to pieces of software
> ought to have *explicit* declarations of types, so I can understand
> them without reading all the code.


There is a common misconception that because types are inferred, they
are hidden. In fact, the result of the type inference can be presented
to the the user. For example, Ocaml's compiler (caml.inria.fr) has an
option that will produce the interfaces for every function in a source
file (which you can save in an interface file and manipulate further if
you wish).


-- Manos


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