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The Weird and The Wonderful

   

The Weird and The Wonderful forum is a place to post Coding Horrors, Worst Practices, and the occasional flash of brilliance.

We all come across code that simply boggles the mind. Lazy kludges, embarrassing mistakes, horrid workarounds and developers just not quite getting it. And then somedays we come across - or write - the truly sublime.

Post your Best, your worst, and your most interesting. But please - no programming questions . This forum is purely for amusement and discussions on code snippets. All actual programming questions will be removed.

 
AnswerRe: What's the Most Concise, Human-Understandable Practical Language? Pin
KateAshman17-May-20 21:57
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Member 798912217-May-20 22:48
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GeneralRe: What's the Most Concise, Human-Understandable Practical Language? Pin
Richard Deeming18-May-20 1:33
mveRichard Deeming18-May-20 1:33 
GeneralRe: What's the Most Concise, Human-Understandable Practical Language? Pin
Member 798912218-May-20 4:30
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GeneralRe: What's the Most Concise, Human-Understandable Practical Language? Pin
Richard Deeming18-May-20 4:39
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Member 798912218-May-20 20:59
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GeneralRe: What's the Most Concise, Human-Understandable Practical Language? Pin
Richard Deeming18-May-20 23:40
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Member 798912219-May-20 6:55
MemberMember 798912219-May-20 6:55 
Richard Deeming wrote:
And yes, the language was designed.
I'd certainly like to see those design documents. Which alternatives were considered, the rationale behind each, the arguments for the selected solution. I have never ever heard even the tiniest little suggestion that any such thing exists.

What was the rationale for not having a proper argument list in the function header, in the initial K&R, but listing the arguments below the header?

What was the arguments when the language was redesigned for changing it to how other Algol-class languages did it?

What was the rationale for not defining a statement to be a block, as in most other Algol-class languages?

What was the rationale for defining the syntax of conditional statements like while-loops and if-statements so that parentheses are required around the condition - it is not in languages like Pascal, CHILL, Algol?

What was the rationale for using the equals sign for assignment, so that an equals condition must be represented by two equals signs?

What was the rational for deviating from the ISO standard interpretation of the CR, LF and NUL character codes?

What was the rationale for not including enumeration types, as a first class type, in the language? For Algol-60, you can find discussions of it in the design douments, but lack of resources prevented them from implementing it time for the deadline, so it was omitted from the specificatin - but Pascal implemented it a few years later. Why didn't C?

This thread has said a lot about exception handling. The first generation of C/C++ execption handling was not part of the language definition, but a cludge realized by macros and longjmp so that programmers could pretend that C had the same facilites as (some) other languages. Was there a design document for this? Was there a design document specifying how to incorporate this cludge in the language itself?

Writing a book a couple of years after the implementation, to tell: See what we have implemented! - that is not a language design process.

Algol was through a design process. CHILL was through a design process, where several competing proposals were analyzed, and after critical evaluation of each feature, a choice was made to how it ws to be defined in the final specification. Starting with Fortran 77, Fortran has been further developed in a similar way, but of course with strong dependencies on earlier language versions.

SUN tried to make ISO accept Java as an ISO standard. But when they learned that they could not simply revise the standard themselves and slam the document on ISO's desk: Here is the new version!, but learned that there would be a committee to eavaluate the new features critically from various angels, designing a new version, then SUN retracted their application for ISO approval. They may have had similar internal evaluation and design rounds, but they were not willing to let others in, as ISO procedures demanded.

Nowadays, C/C++ revisions are into such a mill of critial evaluation, rational decisions and lots of people having their voice heard. Like Fortran, the legacy is heavy.

If you can give any pointers to sources documenting that legacy C, preceeding the ANSI approval was the subject of design, rationale and critical evaluation of alternatives, then I would certainly like to see it. I am not thinking of "I remember how it was back then...", but actual design documents, created at a time when the design was made, not as a history book looking back.
GeneralRe: What's the Most Concise, Human-Understandable Practical Language? Pin
Richard Deeming19-May-20 7:31
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Stuart Dootson18-May-20 0:59
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BryanFazekas18-May-20 2:21
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Member 1181677618-May-20 3:47
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Member 798912219-May-20 6:15
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