Re: Have we reached the asymptotic plateau of innovation in programming la

Johann 'Myrkraverk' Oskarsson <johann@2ndquadrant.com>
Thu, 07 Jun 2012 18:15:58 +0000

          From comp.compilers

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Re: Have we reached the asymptotic plateau of innovation in programmin gah@ugcs.caltech.edu (glen herrmannsfeldt) (2012-06-06)
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From: Johann 'Myrkraverk' Oskarsson <johann@2ndquadrant.com>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2012 18:15:58 +0000
Organization: A noiseless patient Spider
References: 12-03-019 12-03-026 12-03-029
Keywords: design, comment

Hans Aberg <haberg-news@telia.com> writes:


> On 2012/03/12 06:49, glen herrmannsfeldt wrote:
>
>> As I understand it, Fortran introduced the multi-character variable
>> name, pretty much universal in programming languages, but
>> mathematicians haven't caught on yet.


Mathematicians have an implied operator between symbols. You can't do
that with multi character names. Not in a way that can make sense, to
me.


Operator overloading, if done incorrectly, is a maintenance nightmare so
I don't think there will ever be a language with user defined implied
operators.


    %let * be the implied operator


Then one could write


    K = a b + c^2 a k;


which would mean


    K = a * b + c^2 * a * k;


where ^ is "to the power of" and +, * the usual mathematical operators.


And while I find it easier to read the former, I doubt it'll be
universally recieved since slightly later in the program one might
encounter


    %let ^ be the implied operator


    L = c 2;


and L is suddenly c squared.




Maybe I'll try a toy language with implied operators one day.


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