Re: Dangling else

Hans-Peter Diettrich <>
15 Mar 2006 22:09:57 -0500

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From: Hans-Peter Diettrich <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 15 Mar 2006 22:09:57 -0500
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 06-02-154 06-02-168 06-03-008 06-03-023 06-03-041
Keywords: syntax
Posted-Date: 15 Mar 2006 22:09:57 EST

Henry Spencer wrote:

> No, I'm thinking of things like `(x < y) and (q > 4)', where the
> parentheses are mandatory because the Boolean-condition operators
n> share the precedence levels of the arithmetic operators rather than
> having their own.

Here IMO the unification of bitwise (C: &) and logical (C: &&) boolean
operators (into AND) was the first questionable deviation, which
subsequently lead to problems with the operator precedence. For
completeness, the unification of string and character literals IMO was
another questionable simplification.

> Wirth himself, in his 1975 Pascal retrospective ("An assessment of the
> programming language Pascal", IEEE TransSoftEng 1.2, June 1975), said:
> "In retrospect... the decision to break with a widely used tradition seems
> ill-advised..."

Nobody is perfect ;-)
Thanks for the reference, is that article online somewhere?


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