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D - Help, do we really have to let them go NOW?

reply Georg Wrede <Georg_member pathlink.com> writes:
It is starting to look like we need to get rid of
c-style pointer and array declarations.

In an earlier discussion we said that we have to get
rid of bad features before they stick. I, for one,
thought 'stick' meant there was too much code out
there that would break. Now I think that even worse
is that the people involved have got too used to the
bad features.

Having C-style pointer and array declarations around
leads to C(++) programmers sticking to that usage when
coding in D. This, in turn, leads to everybody else
having to learn (or try to learn) at least enough of it
to understand existing D code.

It also leads to the younger guys considering it
'cooler' (often only) because it is hard, and Real Men
use it. This defeats the whole brilliant new syntax.

I say we're already past the point of no return in this
issue. I fear it's too late.

In The Design and Evolution of C++, Bjarne Stroustrup
walks a tightrope between weeping, face saving, and
self accusations, while trying not to blame others,
when he discusses this very same thing. (ex. 2.8.1)

"The part of the C syntax I disliked most was the
declaration syntax." He goes on and reveals that he was
called a Fascist by programmers with a C background
when he tried to skip the old declaration style.

He goes on: "The agony to me and other C++
implementers, documenters, and tool builders caused by
the perversities of syntax has been significant."
And presumably users, too: "Users can -- and do --
of course insulate themselves from such problems by
writing in a small and easily understood subset of the
C/C++ declaration syntax."

Hardly an efficient use of human resources, on either
side. And we are the ones paying for this, even as I
Dec 03 2003
parent "Steve Maillet" <nospam1 EntelechyConsulting.com> writes:
Personally I don't find the pointer or array syntax of C bothersome - I've
been doing it so long now. As long as "D" does not eliminate the ability to
manipulate pointers directly when programming "to the metal" I have no
issues with updating the syntax to something simpler if such a things

What specifically is it you find objectionable? (Your quates from Bjarne
don't list his objections either)

Steve Maillet (eMVP)
Entelechy Consulting
Dec 31 2003