Re: Why context-free?

Darius Blasband <darius@raincode.com>
19 Oct 2005 02:30:57 -0400

          From comp.compilers

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From: Darius Blasband <darius@raincode.com>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 19 Oct 2005 02:30:57 -0400
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 05-10-053 05-10-061 05-10-083
Keywords: syntax, design

> We all know that some languages are not LL or not CF, but is there an
> example, a feature that makes Perl special that actually *depends* on
> the fact that it is or isn't CF, or LL ? I can't think of one, but I'd
> be glad to be shown wrong in this matter.
>
> Darius.
> [Python has a much cleaner syntax than perl, but never got perl's critical
> mass. I think this tells us that syntactic elegance isn't a big issue for
> language users. -John]


I fully agree. It has shown since COBOL, PL/1, C++, Perl and others.
However, IMHO, from an engineering point of view, the question should
not be whether people care for syntactic elegance, but whether they
would complain if their language was syntactically restricted to meet LL
constraints.


I think they would not, and therefore, I see no need to design non-CF
design languages. Non-CF constructs do not lead to better expressions of
programming constructs.


But I'd be glad to be shown an example where a non-CF construct actually
brings some added value that so CF construct would have.


Darius.


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