|Handling the typedef problem with a modifiable grammar firstname.lastname@example.org (1992-01-09)|
|Handling the typedef problem with a modifiable grammar email@example.com (Stephen J Bevan) (1992-01-13)|
|Programming language syntax design (was Re: ... typedef problem) landauer@morocco.Eng.Sun.COM (1992-01-14)|
|Programming language syntax design (was Re: ... typedef problem) firstname.lastname@example.org (Stephen J Bevan) (1992-01-15)|
|Re: Programming language syntax design (was Re: ... typedef problem) email@example.com (1992-01-17)|
|Re: Programming language syntax design (was Re: ... typedef problem) firstname.lastname@example.org (1992-01-20)|
|From:||landauer@morocco.Eng.Sun.COM (-8 Doug Landauer 8-)|
|Organization:||Sun Microsystems, Mt. View, Ca.|
|Date:||14 Jan 1992 23:58:05 GMT|
> So please, any budding language designers/extenders out there, think long
> and hard about about the syntax of the language and its impact on checking
> context conditions (or static semantics if you prefer)
> [On the other hand, some of us would put "easy to parse using yacc" fairly
> low on our list of criteria for good language design. -John]
On the other other hand, I would expect "easy for humans to parse quickly"
should be very high on everyone's list. The worst problem with these
kinds of syntax design mistakes is not so much the inconvenience that it
causes compiler implementors; rather, it is the fact that if the lexer
and/or parser have to jump through hoops to classify a construct, then so
does the *person* trying to read this code. The existence of these kinds
of not-quite-ambiguities make the language itself (i.e., *any* program
written in that language) inherently less readable. This is bad but sorta
manageable in C; it's just scary in C++.
> Q: which language has the best syntax?
> A: Lisp/Scheme, as there isn't any concrete syntax.
> You program directly in the abstract syntax.
I'm not quite sure what you mean here; I do believe that it is the
difficulty that most humans have parsing LISP that is one of the major
factors that has prevented that language from becoming as popular as its
proponents might like for it to be.
(Is this thread more suitable for comp.lang.misc now?)
Doug Landauer -- email@example.com _
Sun Microsystems, Inc. -- STE, SunPro, Languages
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