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D - Death to C/C++

reply "D" <s_nudds hotmail.com> writes:
I have just read with great interest the overview of your "D" language,
contained within the distribution file dmdalpha.zip and thought I would add
my 2 cents.

Well, ok.... 2K of uncommon sense.

Let me start by saying that I loath both C and C++.  These languages are
abominations, abortions, unworthy of existence, a pox on the earth, etc...
C fails on so many levels that I don't know where to begin.  Even the
standard I/O library is an abomination....

Consider the function "GETS".  It takes a special kind of moron to write
such a function.  It takes a special class of mindless wonders to actually
decide to incorporate such a piece of filth into a "standard" library.
Those who wrote included Gets in the first place, and those who voted to put
it in the standard simply are too stupid to justify their continued
existence.  Even torture and death is an inadequate punishment for their
criminal stupidity.  Words can not convey my loathing for these worthless
vermin.

However having got that off my chest, C/C++ still do have some nice
characteristics. And while the languages themselves are also unworthy of
existence, they can be salvaged.  I long for a day when C is replaced by a
similarly featured, language that solves most of it's ample list of
failings.

I come from an assembly language background so I am very familiar with how
machines operate at the lowest levels.  I'm intimately familiar with
pointers, and register sets, memory allocation, and rolling my own functions
and syntax as needed.

I appreciate the utility of high level languages, although I am turned off
by the pathetic level of optimizations they provide. To this day, compilers
still produce code that is 2 to 4 times larger and 2 to 4 times smaller than
I can produce by hand.  Of course they can produce it a zillion times faster
than I can so in the current environment that is the more significant
factor.  I am also turned off by the lack of low level control that most
high level languages provide.

C/C++ strike a minimally acceptable balance between low level capability and
high level convenience.

Having said that, I recognize that C/C++ fail to provide adequate low level
control for many common low level functions.

These limitations are mostly a result of K&R (may they burn eternally in
hell), defining a language that appeals to the lowest common denominator
among all machines.  IE. makes no assumptions about register sizes or the
manner in which variable data is represented.  Variables are considered as
simply abstractly numeric and not necessarily stored internally as a set of
binary bits.

Given that C/C++ is used to code I/O drivers, and write other very low level
code, the lack of concept of "bit" in the language necessarily makes these
programs non-compliant with proper C coding standards, and hence
non-portable.  It was foolish of K&R to create a median level language for
low level coding while defining it in such a manner as to make the
production of low level code, outside the sanctioned scope of the language.

Insanity!

As you observe, C/C++ can't be fixed.  At least not while remaining anywhere
near compatible.  It needs to be replaced.  You have my vote for "D".  It's
a step in the right direction.

By far your best decision has been to abandon the concept of code
compatibility with C/c++.  The need to maintain code compatibility with C
clearly placed nasty constraints on the development of C++, and as you
observe the language "standard" is vastly too convoluted to manage let alone
patch.

As I implied above, in my view, C/C++ is a very poor language because it's
underlying core philosophy is often contradictory and simply wrong headed.
Consistency is replaced by special cases, and irrational behaviour and
inconsistent nomenclature.  Not only does this cause the standard to become
bloated and confused, but it also makes the language more difficult to use,
and the resulting programs more error prone.

There was a time when programs were written like spaghetti.  Programmers, it
was observed, didn't have the self decipline to follow rational coding
standards.  As a result, the structured programming paradigm was invented in
order to provide a consistent approach to writing programs.  The result was
higher code quality, greater code simplicity and less error prone software.

The same argument is at the heart of the object model of programming.
Programmers, it was observed, didn't have the self decipline to follow
rational coding standards and properly encapsulate the functionality of
their programs.  The Object programming paradigm, imposes for the most part
the "correct" behaviour on the programmer, or at least points him/her in the
proper direction.  Encapsulation is now foremost on everyone's mind.

Odd, I've been encapsulating Assembler functions since before the days of
C++.  The justification for encapsulation was clear.  The method was generic
and applicable to many other languages.  But not easily applicable to C,
because the language is so poorly defined.

The purpose of any language above assembler is two fold.  First, to make it
easier for programmers to write code, and second, to make it more probable
that the code produced will properly do it's intended job.

Portability is often raised as a reason for the existence of high level
languages, but this is not a legitimate argument since low level languages
can be made to be just as portable as high level ones.  Java byte code and
other languages that generate intermediate code or Pcode have repeatedly
proven this.  JIT compilers are the final nail in the coffin.  Portability
is a feature of any language, and not as it is so often claimed by members
of the C/C++ religions, a characteristic of high level languages.

Ease of use and program correctness are related of course.  One pretty much
implies the other.  When a language is easy to use, it will typically be
easier to spot programming errors.  The opposite is also true.  When it is
difficult to write correct programs, a language is generally difficult to
use.  It's just common sense.

C is poor because it's subtle behavioural anomalies and inconsistencies make
it difficult to follow it's code.  Type conversions are often hidden,
assumptions must often be made about a variable's size and internal
representation which are outside of the language's specifications etc.

C is poor because it relies on the conscious effort of the programmer to
avoid hidden or concealed pitfalls, rather than avoiding them in the first
place though proper ergonomic language design.

The C philosophy is contradictory since as a higher level language, it's
reason for existence is convenience.  But it then burdens the programmer
with it's own irrational and inconsistent behaviours making the language
inconvenient and error prone.

At it's very core the C philosophy is contradictory.  It is a structured
language, (clearly K&R recognized the superiority of structure in the
creation of well written programs).  But having recognized this, K&R then
foolishly refused to implement many important structural features that are
highly desirable, and trivially easy to implement.

Consider that C omits block typing.  Those structured languages that don't
descend from C, typically identify different kinds of blocks with different
bracketing keywords.  Do/While, If/Endif, Repeat/Until etc.

When reading a block typed program, if the programmer sees the word "until",
he/she knows that the statement ends a "repeat" block.

With C on the other hand the same delimiters are used for all blocks.  The
bracket that ends a C block could be the end of an if block or any other
kind of block.  The programmer is forced when reading the code, to search
back through the program to find which block is being closed.   For
convenience the strategy to combat this language failing is to progressively
indent blocks so that the start of a block can easily be identified.  And of
course sicne C is a free format language, we immediately run into the
problem of people having different indention styles that typically make
following code written by another person difficult.

The indent requirement is utter lunacy.  No language should be able to have
it's meaning be made essentially human unreadable through a simple loss of
indentation.

Insanity!


The C philosophy is that the language should be self documenting, yet the
language provides inadequate syntactic guards, redundancy and signposts that
would make it self documenting.

Specifically the omission of keywords like "then" after "if" beg the
question "if what?"

Yes, in an "if then" statement the keyword "then" is a redundancy.
Redundancy is a very good thing.

Natural language is full of redundancy.  It exists for a purpose.  If this
were not so, it would have been evolved out of the language.

Redundancy is maintained through the evolution of a language for a reason.
The reason is that it facilitates the conveyance of the intended meaning of
what is said.  A person may miss, or misinterpret one key idea in a
sentence, but through the language redundancy will often be guided to the
intended meaning.

Practical redundancy to enhance readability is a very good thing.  Syntactic
minimalism is a wish for the ignorant, and is be avoided in any rationally
defined languages.  APL is proof enough of that.

The more cryptic a language the more likely errors will be made.  The C
"religion" accepts that C is superior to assembler because the C syntax is
more readable and more convenient to use than assembler.  I agree.  However,
C dogma then goes on to reject alterations in the syntax that would provide
further benefits to readability and every other language convenience on the
grounds that they don't add any value to the language itself.  Clearly this
dogma is false.

I strongly urge you to move further away from the C syntax, and implement
block typing. If Then/End if, While/Whend, Do/Loop, SelectCase/EndCase,
Begin/End.

Note that I say SelectCase rather than Switch.  The word switch has no
contextual connection to the operation it identifies in C/C++.  In the real
world, a switch is a binary device.  It is either on or off.  In the real
world a switch does not allow the selection of multiple settings.  Dials,
and other kinds of SELECTORS do that kind of thing, and when they make
discrete choices, they are composed of <separate> "switches".
The keyword "switch" should therefore be changed to something meaningful,
something that describes what is being done.  How about using "Select"?
Seems to work for other languages.

The "switch" statement also has the unfortunate characteristic of not
allowing multiple comparisons for each case.  Also unfortunate is the need
for the "break" keyword to exit the statement.

Switch would be syntactically cleaner if it allowed multiple entries, and
the break keyword is removed.

Select (expression)
   Case a,b,c;
   Case d,e,f;
   default;
end select;

Rather than

switch (expression) (
   case a;
   case b;
   case c;
   break;
   case d;
   case e;
   case f;
   break;
   default;
);

The scope rules for C and C++ are also inconsistent.  All variables inside a
block are visible only within the block.  All variables inside a procedure
are visible only within the procedure.  C is inconsistent in that variables
and functions that are inside a translation unit or module, (whatever you
wish to call it), have global scope by default.

This behaviour is also plainly irrational.

Modules, should present <NO> external linkages at all unless those linkages
are explicitly indicated.  With the default behaviour set to make all module
level definitions global in scope, the programmer is forced to perform extra
work in order to code properly.  The unweary end up wasting compile
resources and throwing away potential optimizations when procedures are left
to the default global scope.

Insanity!  In order to minimize error and make a language convenient,
default behaviour should be that behaviour that is most consistent with good
programming practice.

C's method of defining variables is also fundamentally flawed. Not in the
syntax used, but in the manner in which the variables are sized.  C/C++
provides no clean and rational mechanism for programmers to know if the
variables they will be using are of adequate size or type to hold the data
they wish to represent.

C dogma holds that either the programmer write to the lowest common
denominator, or
use conditional compilation to select appropriate sized variables for the
task at hand.

That's not portability.  It's Insanity!

It is an extreme burden for the programmer to constantly have to worry if
his program is going to run correctly because the language may have altered
the size or type of his variable in some environments.  How many subtle
programming errors can be introduced into a program when it's integer size
be altered from 8 to 32 bits?  Or more catastrophically the opposite?

The proper way to solve the problem is to provide the programmer with a set
of variable types that are guaranteed to be implemented in the language.  It
is the duty of the language to conform to the programmers demands.  If the
programmer wishes to use an 8 bit integer, and it is a sanctioned size, it
is the obligation of the language to synthesize one, out of the given CPU
registers even if the size is not natively supported.

Undefined variable sizes produce errors.

Compilers are often burdened to provide support for floating point types on
CPU's that don't have floating point variables.  On some CPU's floats must
be synthesized out of raw integers.  The programmer need not concern himself
as to weather the target CPU actually has native register support for these
variables.  Integers should be no different.

It is not relevant if the underlying CPU or environment supports 8 bit
integers or not. Such variables can be constructed with 16 or 32 bit
registers as quite easily.  Program correctness must trump efficiency.  In
the case of variable definitions, C places efficiency above program
correctness.

Insanity!

For D, your decision to forget about 8 bit CPU's will limit this problem to
some extent, but as a practical matter, integer variables are never going to
exceed 128 bits in size, and number representation is not going to stray
from typical binary representation found in modern CPU's.   So, this places
reasonable limits on the number of variable types that must be supported.

Some machines will fail to conform.  Too bad, those machines shouldn't
exist.

Rather than providing a set of integer variables of unknown size, I strongly
recommend that you define a set of integer variables of fixed size and sign
type.

I would suggest the following...

Byte   (unsigned 8 bit)
SByte  (Signed 8 bit)
Word   (unsigned 16 bit)
SWord  (signed 16 bit)
Dword  (unsigned 32 bits)
SDword (Signed 32 bits)
Qword  (unsigned 64 bits)
SQword (Signed 64 bits)
0Word  (Unsigned 128 bits)
SOWord (Signed 128 bits)

or ...

int8    (unsigned 8 bit)
Sint8   (Signed 8 bit)
int16   (unsigned 16 bit)
sint16  (signed 16 bit)
int32   (unsigned 32 bits)
sint32  (Signed 32 bits)
int64   (unsigned 64 bits)
sint64  (Signed 64 bits)
int128  (Unsigned 128 bits)
sint128 (Signed 128 bits)

Lets have no optional behaviour in the language spec. None of this - a
character is an 8 bit signed number in some machines, and an unsigned number
in others - nonsense.

Another aspect of variable definition that should be changed is the names of
the types themselves.  Again the problem is ambiguity.  Ambiguity breeds
error.

Single.  Single what?    "flapjack" has just as much meaning.
Double.  Double what?    Double the flapjack of course.  How about "tall"?
Long.    Long what?      How long is a long?  Shouldn't "dint" be "short"?

With the integer data types shown previously there is no ambiguity.

I see nothing wrong with...

Float1
Float2
Float3

or

FSingle
FDouble
FExtra

As long as the floating point nature of the variable, if not it's absolute
size are made abundantly clear.

Specifying pointer sizes is clearly an issue.  As a practical matter no CPU
that I know of has more than one pointer size, so not specifying the size in
bits is a legitimate option.  It does however raise the issue of how the
program can ensure that a pointer subtraction can be contained within a
register of known size.

Fortunately pointer subtraction doesn't occur very often so in my view a
typedef based on variable size seems the most pragmatic and acceptable
solution.


C also fails when it comes to character types as it does not specify if they
are signed or unsigned.  defining Char and SChar, WChr and SWChar will solve
that problem for both ASCII and wide Unicode charactes.

But why should characters be treated as numbers at all when they are
characters. Doing so is a rejection of type definition itself.  Rational
languages are strongly typed and conversion can be indicated through
explicit casting.

While I am on the subject of variables, I observe that very many programming
errors in C are caused by improper array bounds checking.  I have long
thought that a secondary "secure" pointer type should be implemented that
places bounds on the pointer's value. This would be a complex type that
contains not only the pointer itself, but the upper and lower bounding
values.

Of course you can implement bounded pointers through overloading, but who
actually does it?  Using a composite variable is also inefficient when
implemented in software by the compiler.  Ideally this type should be
implemented in hardware so that bounding tests can be performed in parallel
as the content of the pointer register is changed.

Why this kind of thing isn't already implemented in hardware is beyond me.
It's not needed I guess.  All those buffer overflow problems that are the
source of 90% of all the security exploits must be figments of my
imagination...

Insanity!

In C and C++ /*Comments*/ can't nest.  I've never understood the
justification for such a limitation.  Certainly the preprocessor strips out
the comments before the compiler sees them, so it should have been trivial
to simply have the pre-processor use a counter rather than a boolean to
determine if it was inside a comment.

C/C++ are free format languages, and there is nothing wrong with that.

However, it is often argued by C religionists, that the mandatory use of
semicolons are required if the language is to remain free format.  This is
clearly false.

Missing semicolons are the #1 bugaboo of all C programmers no matter what
their level of experience.  Why not remove their requirement?

This should be as simple as defining <EOL> to be equivalent to a semicolon,
and then defining a line continuation character that causes the next
occurrence of <EOL> to be ignored.  Semicolons can be reserved for putting
multiple statements on one logical line.

begin
  dint a,b,c
  c = b + a; b = a + c
end

Rather than...

{
  dint a;
  dint b;
  dint c;
  c = b + a;
  b = a + c;
}

a = FtnCall(VariableA, VariableB, _
            VariableC, VariableD)

Rather than...

a = FtnCall(VariableA, VariableB,
            VariableC, VariableD);



Your choice in "D" is to remove operator overloading from the language spec.
Excellent, I concur with you that the ability to redefine operators causes
many more problems than it solves.  However, having the ability to use
operator notation does greatly simplify the coding of equations involving
complex numbers etc.

The idea of converting function calls to an operator syntax is a good one.
C (and other oop languages) simply take the wrong tact.  Rather than
overload the existing operators, it is a much better idea to allow the
creation of new operators.
New operators should all have equal precedence.

Many languages have the facility to implement new operators rather than
simply overloading the existing ones.  If properly used this can provide a
means of operator typing and therefore improve code clarity.  You could for
example write statements such as...

c .c= a .c+ b

Where <.c=> is defined as complex assignment
      <.c+> is defined as complex add

Recc .Rec= Reca .Rec_Name_Greater Recb

Where .Rec= is defined as record assignment
      .Rec_Name_Greater  is defined as a comparon between named portions of
two records.

Once identified, the above syntax can easily be converted to a function like
synatx by a preprocessor as follows.

Define Operator Rec_Name_Greater = as type Rec Rec_Name_Greater(type Rec,
type Rec)

The precompiler would then translate the statement ..

Recc .Rec= Reca .Rec_Name_Greater Recb

into the call ...

Recc = Reg_Name_Greater(Reca,Recb)

This implies that the compler should be smart enough to be able to
automatically handle assignment to complex data types via a block move as
necessary.

It also implies that the internal organization of structures be defined
within the language.

Defining the internal variable arrangement of structures poses difficulties
for language portability and efficiency.  I would suggest that there be two
types of structures.  One defined for portability between platforms, and one
for internal use with the stipulation that the one defined for portability
between platforms be used only where structures are necessarily shared.

Since data formats are assumed to be binary and in the form of 8, 16, 32, 64
or 128 bits and strings, it is necessary to worry about endian formats, both
bitwise and bytewise. The most convenient way to do this would be to allow
the definition of new big endian/little endian variable types within
structures.  The best way to do this would be to define the types as
"overrides" in the structure type definition itself.

I.E.

new iotype wombat BigBitEndian, BigByteEndian
   int8  a ,b ,c
   int16 a1,b1,c1
   int32 a2,b2,c2
   ...
end type

iotypes should not be allowed to support any operation other than
assignment.  This will force the immediate conversion of such types to the
native format used by the machine.

Again, coming from a machine language environment, I prefer to keep things
as compact as possible.  To that end, I often define one integer of storage
space and use it to hold multiple boolean flags.

const wombat  equ 0x0000000000000001
const wombat1 equ 0x0000000000000010
const wombat2 equ 0x0000000000000100
...
WombatFlg     dw  0x0000000000000000

You can do similar things in most other languages of course, but in every
case that I know of you end up with a whopping number of similarly named and
unassociated constants that may have the same numerical values.  Not good.

I would like to have the ability to associate a constant with a particular
data type.  For example

new type wombat
   const wombat  equ 0x0000000000000001
   const wombat1 equ 0x0000000000000010
   const wombat2 equ 0x0000000000000100
   ...
   WombatFlg     dw  0x0000000000000000
end type wombatx

wombatx.wombatflg |= wombat.wombat1


The way C and C++ implement Preincrement and Postincrement is also
fundamentally wrong headed.  The C standard stipulates that there is no
guarantee where in an expression the pre or post increment will occur, only
that they will have been performed at the end of the expression.  Multiple
appearances of a variable in an expression provide different results for the
expression if the variable is incremented/decremented within the expression.

Insanity!

At the very least, C/C++ should check for such problems and REFUSE to
compile any program that contains such a problem.  Hopefully spitting out a
meaningful error message.

I would prefer the following...

The definition should stipulate that preincrements occur before the first
reference to the variable in question, and post increments occur after the
last reference to a variable.  Multiple increments/decrements of the same
variable in an expression should trigger a compile error.


Automatic variable type conversion is a legitimate convenience feature that
C provides. However, once again the language default behaviour is contrary
to common sense.

Casting errors are extremely common and often difficult to find particularly
when they occur in a function call.  To make this less likely, variable
casting should only occur if explicitly stated.  I would even go so far as
to require explicit casting where arrays are converted to pointer references
in function calls.  This may be going too far, but anything that will make
the conversion more explicit is beneficial.

I believe I read that "D" will pass arrays rather than converting them to
pointers.  This is a mistake, as passing arrays will clearly be very
inefficient.  Any attempt to pass an array as an array rather than a casted
pointer should generate an error.

Label case sensitivity is also an issue.  Here in the real world, words do
not change their meaning when they capitalized.  A Banana is a BANANA.  So
it should also be with programming labels and keywords.   All compiler
should ignore the case of all names and keywords, yet optionally keep the
case intact for the purpose of export and linkage.  Linkage within the
language itself should also be case insensitive.  I would recommend through
the conversion of all exported labels to upper case.

Keeping case sensitivity to names and keywords promotes poor programming
practices like defining variables with names like HWin, hWin, hWIN, etc. Oh
ya, like that isn't found in every windows program ever written.

Insanity!

In the current C/C++ dogma, case sensitivity is considered to be a good
because it provides slightly greater flexibility in naming, but this benefit
is predicated on the creation of identically named identifiers that differ
only by case, yet creating such labels is considered (correctly so), bad
programming practice.  So the benefit is only had through bad programming
practice.  Another inconsistency.

Insanity!


Other features that I would like to see is the ability to perform
initializations in the following manner

int16 a,b,c = 7;
int16 a,b,c = 7,8,9;

static int16 a,b,c = 0;


You have gotten rid of the . vs -> fiasco.  Wonderful.
Lost the forward reference, predefinition kludge.  Wonderful.
Lost macros.  Wonderful as long as a better facility is provided.
              Being able to define your own operators goes a long way in
this respect.
Improved error trapping.  Wonderful.
Decided to include strings as a native type.  Wonderful.

Improvements in object implementation.  Wonderful.

I wish you success in the development of "D", and I prey for a world
rational enough to abandon the abominations that are now being used, and
adopt your language.

Unfortunately, members of the C religion are far too deep into the
Plauktau - the blood fever - to listen to reason.

Landru - guide us!

All is chaos!
Feb 03 2002
next sibling parent "Sean L. Palmer" <spalmer iname.com> writes:
That's quite a rant (27Kb worth!!!)

I hear you, brother!  ;)

Sean

"D" <s_nudds hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:a3le07$nf4$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 I have just read with great interest the overview of your "D" language,
 contained within the distribution file dmdalpha.zip and thought I would

 my 2 cents.

 Well, ok.... 2K of uncommon sense.

 Let me start by saying that I loath both C and C++.  These languages are
 abominations, abortions, unworthy of existence, a pox on the earth, etc...
 C fails on so many levels that I don't know where to begin.  Even the
 standard I/O library is an abomination....

 Consider the function "GETS".  It takes a special kind of moron to write
 such a function.  It takes a special class of mindless wonders to actually
 decide to incorporate such a piece of filth into a "standard" library.
 Those who wrote included Gets in the first place, and those who voted to

 it in the standard simply are too stupid to justify their continued
 existence.  Even torture and death is an inadequate punishment for their
 criminal stupidity.  Words can not convey my loathing for these worthless
 vermin.

 However having got that off my chest, C/C++ still do have some nice
 characteristics. And while the languages themselves are also unworthy of
 existence, they can be salvaged.  I long for a day when C is replaced by a
 similarly featured, language that solves most of it's ample list of
 failings.

 I come from an assembly language background so I am very familiar with how
 machines operate at the lowest levels.  I'm intimately familiar with
 pointers, and register sets, memory allocation, and rolling my own

 and syntax as needed.

 I appreciate the utility of high level languages, although I am turned off
 by the pathetic level of optimizations they provide. To this day,

 still produce code that is 2 to 4 times larger and 2 to 4 times smaller

 I can produce by hand.  Of course they can produce it a zillion times

 than I can so in the current environment that is the more significant
 factor.  I am also turned off by the lack of low level control that most
 high level languages provide.

 C/C++ strike a minimally acceptable balance between low level capability

 high level convenience.

 Having said that, I recognize that C/C++ fail to provide adequate low

 control for many common low level functions.

 These limitations are mostly a result of K&R (may they burn eternally in
 hell), defining a language that appeals to the lowest common denominator
 among all machines.  IE. makes no assumptions about register sizes or the
 manner in which variable data is represented.  Variables are considered as
 simply abstractly numeric and not necessarily stored internally as a set

 binary bits.

 Given that C/C++ is used to code I/O drivers, and write other very low

 code, the lack of concept of "bit" in the language necessarily makes these
 programs non-compliant with proper C coding standards, and hence
 non-portable.  It was foolish of K&R to create a median level language for
 low level coding while defining it in such a manner as to make the
 production of low level code, outside the sanctioned scope of the

 Insanity!

 As you observe, C/C++ can't be fixed.  At least not while remaining

 near compatible.  It needs to be replaced.  You have my vote for "D".

 a step in the right direction.

 By far your best decision has been to abandon the concept of code
 compatibility with C/c++.  The need to maintain code compatibility with C
 clearly placed nasty constraints on the development of C++, and as you
 observe the language "standard" is vastly too convoluted to manage let

 patch.

 As I implied above, in my view, C/C++ is a very poor language because it's
 underlying core philosophy is often contradictory and simply wrong headed.
 Consistency is replaced by special cases, and irrational behaviour and
 inconsistent nomenclature.  Not only does this cause the standard to

 bloated and confused, but it also makes the language more difficult to

 and the resulting programs more error prone.

 There was a time when programs were written like spaghetti.  Programmers,

 was observed, didn't have the self decipline to follow rational coding
 standards.  As a result, the structured programming paradigm was invented

 order to provide a consistent approach to writing programs.  The result

 higher code quality, greater code simplicity and less error prone

 The same argument is at the heart of the object model of programming.
 Programmers, it was observed, didn't have the self decipline to follow
 rational coding standards and properly encapsulate the functionality of
 their programs.  The Object programming paradigm, imposes for the most

 the "correct" behaviour on the programmer, or at least points him/her in

 proper direction.  Encapsulation is now foremost on everyone's mind.

 Odd, I've been encapsulating Assembler functions since before the days of
 C++.  The justification for encapsulation was clear.  The method was

 and applicable to many other languages.  But not easily applicable to C,
 because the language is so poorly defined.

 The purpose of any language above assembler is two fold.  First, to make

 easier for programmers to write code, and second, to make it more probable
 that the code produced will properly do it's intended job.

 Portability is often raised as a reason for the existence of high level
 languages, but this is not a legitimate argument since low level languages
 can be made to be just as portable as high level ones.  Java byte code and
 other languages that generate intermediate code or Pcode have repeatedly
 proven this.  JIT compilers are the final nail in the coffin.  Portability
 is a feature of any language, and not as it is so often claimed by members
 of the C/C++ religions, a characteristic of high level languages.

 Ease of use and program correctness are related of course.  One pretty

 implies the other.  When a language is easy to use, it will typically be
 easier to spot programming errors.  The opposite is also true.  When it is
 difficult to write correct programs, a language is generally difficult to
 use.  It's just common sense.

 C is poor because it's subtle behavioural anomalies and inconsistencies

 it difficult to follow it's code.  Type conversions are often hidden,
 assumptions must often be made about a variable's size and internal
 representation which are outside of the language's specifications etc.

 C is poor because it relies on the conscious effort of the programmer to
 avoid hidden or concealed pitfalls, rather than avoiding them in the first
 place though proper ergonomic language design.

 The C philosophy is contradictory since as a higher level language, it's
 reason for existence is convenience.  But it then burdens the programmer
 with it's own irrational and inconsistent behaviours making the language
 inconvenient and error prone.

 At it's very core the C philosophy is contradictory.  It is a structured
 language, (clearly K&R recognized the superiority of structure in the
 creation of well written programs).  But having recognized this, K&R then
 foolishly refused to implement many important structural features that are
 highly desirable, and trivially easy to implement.

 Consider that C omits block typing.  Those structured languages that don't
 descend from C, typically identify different kinds of blocks with

 bracketing keywords.  Do/While, If/Endif, Repeat/Until etc.

 When reading a block typed program, if the programmer sees the word

 he/she knows that the statement ends a "repeat" block.

 With C on the other hand the same delimiters are used for all blocks.  The
 bracket that ends a C block could be the end of an if block or any other
 kind of block.  The programmer is forced when reading the code, to search
 back through the program to find which block is being closed.   For
 convenience the strategy to combat this language failing is to

 indent blocks so that the start of a block can easily be identified.  And

 course sicne C is a free format language, we immediately run into the
 problem of people having different indention styles that typically make
 following code written by another person difficult.

 The indent requirement is utter lunacy.  No language should be able to

 it's meaning be made essentially human unreadable through a simple loss of
 indentation.

 Insanity!


 The C philosophy is that the language should be self documenting, yet the
 language provides inadequate syntactic guards, redundancy and signposts

 would make it self documenting.

 Specifically the omission of keywords like "then" after "if" beg the
 question "if what?"

 Yes, in an "if then" statement the keyword "then" is a redundancy.
 Redundancy is a very good thing.

 Natural language is full of redundancy.  It exists for a purpose.  If this
 were not so, it would have been evolved out of the language.

 Redundancy is maintained through the evolution of a language for a reason.
 The reason is that it facilitates the conveyance of the intended meaning

 what is said.  A person may miss, or misinterpret one key idea in a
 sentence, but through the language redundancy will often be guided to the
 intended meaning.

 Practical redundancy to enhance readability is a very good thing.

 minimalism is a wish for the ignorant, and is be avoided in any rationally
 defined languages.  APL is proof enough of that.

 The more cryptic a language the more likely errors will be made.  The C
 "religion" accepts that C is superior to assembler because the C syntax is
 more readable and more convenient to use than assembler.  I agree.

 C dogma then goes on to reject alterations in the syntax that would

 further benefits to readability and every other language convenience on

 grounds that they don't add any value to the language itself.  Clearly

 dogma is false.

 I strongly urge you to move further away from the C syntax, and implement
 block typing. If Then/End if, While/Whend, Do/Loop, SelectCase/EndCase,
 Begin/End.

 Note that I say SelectCase rather than Switch.  The word switch has no
 contextual connection to the operation it identifies in C/C++.  In the

 world, a switch is a binary device.  It is either on or off.  In the real
 world a switch does not allow the selection of multiple settings.  Dials,
 and other kinds of SELECTORS do that kind of thing, and when they make
 discrete choices, they are composed of <separate> "switches".
 The keyword "switch" should therefore be changed to something meaningful,
 something that describes what is being done.  How about using "Select"?
 Seems to work for other languages.

 The "switch" statement also has the unfortunate characteristic of not
 allowing multiple comparisons for each case.  Also unfortunate is the need
 for the "break" keyword to exit the statement.

 Switch would be syntactically cleaner if it allowed multiple entries, and
 the break keyword is removed.

 Select (expression)
    Case a,b,c;
    Case d,e,f;
    default;
 end select;

 Rather than

 switch (expression) (
    case a;
    case b;
    case c;
    break;
    case d;
    case e;
    case f;
    break;
    default;
 );

 The scope rules for C and C++ are also inconsistent.  All variables inside

 block are visible only within the block.  All variables inside a procedure
 are visible only within the procedure.  C is inconsistent in that

 and functions that are inside a translation unit or module, (whatever you
 wish to call it), have global scope by default.

 This behaviour is also plainly irrational.

 Modules, should present <NO> external linkages at all unless those

 are explicitly indicated.  With the default behaviour set to make all

 level definitions global in scope, the programmer is forced to perform

 work in order to code properly.  The unweary end up wasting compile
 resources and throwing away potential optimizations when procedures are

 to the default global scope.

 Insanity!  In order to minimize error and make a language convenient,
 default behaviour should be that behaviour that is most consistent with

 programming practice.

 C's method of defining variables is also fundamentally flawed. Not in the
 syntax used, but in the manner in which the variables are sized.  C/C++
 provides no clean and rational mechanism for programmers to know if the
 variables they will be using are of adequate size or type to hold the data
 they wish to represent.

 C dogma holds that either the programmer write to the lowest common
 denominator, or
 use conditional compilation to select appropriate sized variables for the
 task at hand.

 That's not portability.  It's Insanity!

 It is an extreme burden for the programmer to constantly have to worry if
 his program is going to run correctly because the language may have

 the size or type of his variable in some environments.  How many subtle
 programming errors can be introduced into a program when it's integer size
 be altered from 8 to 32 bits?  Or more catastrophically the opposite?

 The proper way to solve the problem is to provide the programmer with a

 of variable types that are guaranteed to be implemented in the language.

 is the duty of the language to conform to the programmers demands.  If the
 programmer wishes to use an 8 bit integer, and it is a sanctioned size, it
 is the obligation of the language to synthesize one, out of the given CPU
 registers even if the size is not natively supported.

 Undefined variable sizes produce errors.

 Compilers are often burdened to provide support for floating point types

 CPU's that don't have floating point variables.  On some CPU's floats must
 be synthesized out of raw integers.  The programmer need not concern

 as to weather the target CPU actually has native register support for

 variables.  Integers should be no different.

 It is not relevant if the underlying CPU or environment supports 8 bit
 integers or not. Such variables can be constructed with 16 or 32 bit
 registers as quite easily.  Program correctness must trump efficiency.  In
 the case of variable definitions, C places efficiency above program
 correctness.

 Insanity!

 For D, your decision to forget about 8 bit CPU's will limit this problem

 some extent, but as a practical matter, integer variables are never going

 exceed 128 bits in size, and number representation is not going to stray
 from typical binary representation found in modern CPU's.   So, this

 reasonable limits on the number of variable types that must be supported.

 Some machines will fail to conform.  Too bad, those machines shouldn't
 exist.

 Rather than providing a set of integer variables of unknown size, I

 recommend that you define a set of integer variables of fixed size and

 type.

 I would suggest the following...

 Byte   (unsigned 8 bit)
 SByte  (Signed 8 bit)
 Word   (unsigned 16 bit)
 SWord  (signed 16 bit)
 Dword  (unsigned 32 bits)
 SDword (Signed 32 bits)
 Qword  (unsigned 64 bits)
 SQword (Signed 64 bits)
 0Word  (Unsigned 128 bits)
 SOWord (Signed 128 bits)

 or ...

 int8    (unsigned 8 bit)
 Sint8   (Signed 8 bit)
 int16   (unsigned 16 bit)
 sint16  (signed 16 bit)
 int32   (unsigned 32 bits)
 sint32  (Signed 32 bits)
 int64   (unsigned 64 bits)
 sint64  (Signed 64 bits)
 int128  (Unsigned 128 bits)
 sint128 (Signed 128 bits)

 Lets have no optional behaviour in the language spec. None of this - a
 character is an 8 bit signed number in some machines, and an unsigned

 in others - nonsense.

 Another aspect of variable definition that should be changed is the names

 the types themselves.  Again the problem is ambiguity.  Ambiguity breeds
 error.

 Single.  Single what?    "flapjack" has just as much meaning.
 Double.  Double what?    Double the flapjack of course.  How about "tall"?
 Long.    Long what?      How long is a long?  Shouldn't "dint" be "short"?

 With the integer data types shown previously there is no ambiguity.

 I see nothing wrong with...

 Float1
 Float2
 Float3

 or

 FSingle
 FDouble
 FExtra

 As long as the floating point nature of the variable, if not it's absolute
 size are made abundantly clear.

 Specifying pointer sizes is clearly an issue.  As a practical matter no

 that I know of has more than one pointer size, so not specifying the size

 bits is a legitimate option.  It does however raise the issue of how the
 program can ensure that a pointer subtraction can be contained within a
 register of known size.

 Fortunately pointer subtraction doesn't occur very often so in my view a
 typedef based on variable size seems the most pragmatic and acceptable
 solution.


 C also fails when it comes to character types as it does not specify if

 are signed or unsigned.  defining Char and SChar, WChr and SWChar will

 that problem for both ASCII and wide Unicode charactes.

 But why should characters be treated as numbers at all when they are
 characters. Doing so is a rejection of type definition itself.  Rational
 languages are strongly typed and conversion can be indicated through
 explicit casting.

 While I am on the subject of variables, I observe that very many

 errors in C are caused by improper array bounds checking.  I have long
 thought that a secondary "secure" pointer type should be implemented that
 places bounds on the pointer's value. This would be a complex type that
 contains not only the pointer itself, but the upper and lower bounding
 values.

 Of course you can implement bounded pointers through overloading, but who
 actually does it?  Using a composite variable is also inefficient when
 implemented in software by the compiler.  Ideally this type should be
 implemented in hardware so that bounding tests can be performed in

 as the content of the pointer register is changed.

 Why this kind of thing isn't already implemented in hardware is beyond me.
 It's not needed I guess.  All those buffer overflow problems that are the
 source of 90% of all the security exploits must be figments of my
 imagination...

 Insanity!

 In C and C++ /*Comments*/ can't nest.  I've never understood the
 justification for such a limitation.  Certainly the preprocessor strips

 the comments before the compiler sees them, so it should have been trivial
 to simply have the pre-processor use a counter rather than a boolean to
 determine if it was inside a comment.

 C/C++ are free format languages, and there is nothing wrong with that.

 However, it is often argued by C religionists, that the mandatory use of
 semicolons are required if the language is to remain free format.  This is
 clearly false.

 Missing semicolons are the #1 bugaboo of all C programmers no matter what
 their level of experience.  Why not remove their requirement?

 This should be as simple as defining <EOL> to be equivalent to a

 and then defining a line continuation character that causes the next
 occurrence of <EOL> to be ignored.  Semicolons can be reserved for putting
 multiple statements on one logical line.

 begin
   dint a,b,c
   c = b + a; b = a + c
 end

 Rather than...

 {
   dint a;
   dint b;
   dint c;
   c = b + a;
   b = a + c;
 }

 a = FtnCall(VariableA, VariableB, _
             VariableC, VariableD)

 Rather than...

 a = FtnCall(VariableA, VariableB,
             VariableC, VariableD);



 Your choice in "D" is to remove operator overloading from the language

 Excellent, I concur with you that the ability to redefine operators causes
 many more problems than it solves.  However, having the ability to use
 operator notation does greatly simplify the coding of equations involving
 complex numbers etc.

 The idea of converting function calls to an operator syntax is a good one.
 C (and other oop languages) simply take the wrong tact.  Rather than
 overload the existing operators, it is a much better idea to allow the
 creation of new operators.
 New operators should all have equal precedence.

 Many languages have the facility to implement new operators rather than
 simply overloading the existing ones.  If properly used this can provide a
 means of operator typing and therefore improve code clarity.  You could

 example write statements such as...

 c .c= a .c+ b

 Where <.c=> is defined as complex assignment
       <.c+> is defined as complex add

 Recc .Rec= Reca .Rec_Name_Greater Recb

 Where .Rec= is defined as record assignment
       .Rec_Name_Greater  is defined as a comparon between named portions

 two records.

 Once identified, the above syntax can easily be converted to a function

 synatx by a preprocessor as follows.

 Define Operator Rec_Name_Greater = as type Rec Rec_Name_Greater(type Rec,
 type Rec)

 The precompiler would then translate the statement ..

 Recc .Rec= Reca .Rec_Name_Greater Recb

 into the call ...

 Recc = Reg_Name_Greater(Reca,Recb)

 This implies that the compler should be smart enough to be able to
 automatically handle assignment to complex data types via a block move as
 necessary.

 It also implies that the internal organization of structures be defined
 within the language.

 Defining the internal variable arrangement of structures poses

 for language portability and efficiency.  I would suggest that there be

 types of structures.  One defined for portability between platforms, and

 for internal use with the stipulation that the one defined for portability
 between platforms be used only where structures are necessarily shared.

 Since data formats are assumed to be binary and in the form of 8, 16, 32,

 or 128 bits and strings, it is necessary to worry about endian formats,

 bitwise and bytewise. The most convenient way to do this would be to allow
 the definition of new big endian/little endian variable types within
 structures.  The best way to do this would be to define the types as
 "overrides" in the structure type definition itself.

 I.E.

 new iotype wombat BigBitEndian, BigByteEndian
    int8  a ,b ,c
    int16 a1,b1,c1
    int32 a2,b2,c2
    ...
 end type

 iotypes should not be allowed to support any operation other than
 assignment.  This will force the immediate conversion of such types to the
 native format used by the machine.

 Again, coming from a machine language environment, I prefer to keep things
 as compact as possible.  To that end, I often define one integer of

 space and use it to hold multiple boolean flags.

 const wombat  equ 0x0000000000000001
 const wombat1 equ 0x0000000000000010
 const wombat2 equ 0x0000000000000100
 ...
 WombatFlg     dw  0x0000000000000000

 You can do similar things in most other languages of course, but in every
 case that I know of you end up with a whopping number of similarly named

 unassociated constants that may have the same numerical values.  Not good.

 I would like to have the ability to associate a constant with a particular
 data type.  For example

 new type wombat
    const wombat  equ 0x0000000000000001
    const wombat1 equ 0x0000000000000010
    const wombat2 equ 0x0000000000000100
    ...
    WombatFlg     dw  0x0000000000000000
 end type wombatx

 wombatx.wombatflg |= wombat.wombat1


 The way C and C++ implement Preincrement and Postincrement is also
 fundamentally wrong headed.  The C standard stipulates that there is no
 guarantee where in an expression the pre or post increment will occur,

 that they will have been performed at the end of the expression.  Multiple
 appearances of a variable in an expression provide different results for

 expression if the variable is incremented/decremented within the

 Insanity!

 At the very least, C/C++ should check for such problems and REFUSE to
 compile any program that contains such a problem.  Hopefully spitting out

 meaningful error message.

 I would prefer the following...

 The definition should stipulate that preincrements occur before the first
 reference to the variable in question, and post increments occur after the
 last reference to a variable.  Multiple increments/decrements of the same
 variable in an expression should trigger a compile error.


 Automatic variable type conversion is a legitimate convenience feature

 C provides. However, once again the language default behaviour is contrary
 to common sense.

 Casting errors are extremely common and often difficult to find

 when they occur in a function call.  To make this less likely, variable
 casting should only occur if explicitly stated.  I would even go so far as
 to require explicit casting where arrays are converted to pointer

 in function calls.  This may be going too far, but anything that will make
 the conversion more explicit is beneficial.

 I believe I read that "D" will pass arrays rather than converting them to
 pointers.  This is a mistake, as passing arrays will clearly be very
 inefficient.  Any attempt to pass an array as an array rather than a

 pointer should generate an error.

 Label case sensitivity is also an issue.  Here in the real world, words do
 not change their meaning when they capitalized.  A Banana is a BANANA.  So
 it should also be with programming labels and keywords.   All compiler
 should ignore the case of all names and keywords, yet optionally keep the
 case intact for the purpose of export and linkage.  Linkage within the
 language itself should also be case insensitive.  I would recommend

 the conversion of all exported labels to upper case.

 Keeping case sensitivity to names and keywords promotes poor programming
 practices like defining variables with names like HWin, hWin, hWIN, etc.

 ya, like that isn't found in every windows program ever written.

 Insanity!

 In the current C/C++ dogma, case sensitivity is considered to be a good
 because it provides slightly greater flexibility in naming, but this

 is predicated on the creation of identically named identifiers that differ
 only by case, yet creating such labels is considered (correctly so), bad
 programming practice.  So the benefit is only had through bad programming
 practice.  Another inconsistency.

 Insanity!


 Other features that I would like to see is the ability to perform
 initializations in the following manner

 int16 a,b,c = 7;
 int16 a,b,c = 7,8,9;

 static int16 a,b,c = 0;


 You have gotten rid of the . vs -> fiasco.  Wonderful.
 Lost the forward reference, predefinition kludge.  Wonderful.
 Lost macros.  Wonderful as long as a better facility is provided.
               Being able to define your own operators goes a long way in
 this respect.
 Improved error trapping.  Wonderful.
 Decided to include strings as a native type.  Wonderful.

 Improvements in object implementation.  Wonderful.

 I wish you success in the development of "D", and I prey for a world
 rational enough to abandon the abominations that are now being used, and
 adopt your language.

 Unfortunately, members of the C religion are far too deep into the
 Plauktau - the blood fever - to listen to reason.

 Landru - guide us!

 All is chaos!

Feb 04 2002
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Alex Vincent <jscript pacbell.net> writes:
 Unfortunately, members of the C religion are far too deep into the
 Plauktau - the blood fever - to listen to reason.
 
 Landru - guide us!
 
 All is chaos!

Quite a rant indeed, from someone who doesn't speak Vulcan. Palk'tow, I believe, is the correct spelling for Trekkies. :-) I''l be honest: I do not have any experience in coding C/C++. But D looks similar enough to ECMAScript to be passable.
Feb 04 2002
parent Alex Vincent <jscript pacbell.net> writes:
Alex Vincent wrote:
 Unfortunately, members of the C religion are far too deep into the
 Plauktau - the blood fever - to listen to reason.

 Landru - guide us!

 All is chaos!

Quite a rant indeed, from someone who doesn't speak Vulcan. Palk'tow, I believe, is the correct spelling for Trekkies. :-)

Damn it, I meant, "Plak'tow".
 
 I''l be honest:  I do not have any experience in coding C/C++.  But D 
 looks similar enough to ECMAScript to be passable.

And "I'll".
Feb 04 2002
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> writes:
D wrote:

 Let me start by saying that I loath both C and C++.  These languages are
 abominations, abortions, unworthy of existence, a pox on the earth, etc...
 C fails on so many levels that I don't know where to begin.  Even the
 standard I/O library is an abomination....

You should really stop beating around the bush and tell us how you really feel. Let me start by saying that C is like MS Windows, or like democracy. It's pretty much the most loathesome choice imaginable -- except for any of the others.
 I am also turned off by the lack of low level control that most
 high level languages provide.

I am skeptical of the ability of any language to provide both the safety that you seem to be calling for in most of your posts, and more low level control simultaneously.
 Having said that, I recognize that C/C++ fail to provide adequate low level
 control for many common low level functions.
 
 These limitations are mostly a result of K&R (may they burn eternally in
 hell), defining a language that appeals to the lowest common denominator
 among all machines. 

 [snip]
 It was foolish of K&R to create a median level language for
 low level coding while defining it in such a manner as to make the
 production of low level code, outside the sanctioned scope of the
 language.

I assume K&R's view on this was roughly "if you want assembly language, you know where to find it." At the time, the stuff that had to be low level would be written in assembly, and C would provide some small relief from the tedium of writing everything else in asm. That C has been applied, since, to things it might not be optimally suited for is hardly K&R's fault.
 Portability is often raised as a reason for the existence of high level
 languages, but this is not a legitimate argument since low level languages
 can be made to be just as portable as high level ones.  Java byte code and
 other languages that generate intermediate code or Pcode have repeatedly
 proven this.  JIT compilers are the final nail in the coffin.  Portability
 is a feature of any language, and not as it is so often claimed by members
 of the C/C++ religions, a characteristic of high level languages.

As long as we're on the topic of Java, is there some reason it's not suitable for you?
 Consider that C omits block typing.  Those structured languages that don't
 descend from C, typically identify different kinds of blocks with different
 bracketing keywords.  Do/While, If/Endif, Repeat/Until etc.

 [snip]

It's entirely possible that K&R were aware of the argument you make, and rejected it on the grounds that, first, it's at least as common to have a tower of nested "for"s or nested "if"s, which don't benefit from your strategy: if (a) if (b) if (c) if (d) else (f) if (g) foo; endif endif endif endif endif -- and secondly, they were working in an environment where limited storage space and the nature of the teletype encouraged the evolution of extremely abbreviated syntax -- cf. all the two-letterisms of Unix.
 Yes, in an "if then" statement the keyword "then" is a redundancy.
 Redundancy is a very good thing.

Not at 300 baud.
 The more cryptic a language the more likely errors will be made.  The C
 "religion" accepts that C is superior to assembler because the C syntax is
 more readable and more convenient to use than assembler.  I agree.  However,
 C dogma then goes on to reject alterations in the syntax that would provide
 further benefits to readability and every other language convenience on the
 grounds that they don't add any value to the language itself.  Clearly this
 dogma is false.

I think C dogma rejects alterations in the syntax because of investment in existing codebases.
 It is not relevant if the underlying CPU or environment supports 8 bit
 integers or not. Such variables can be constructed with 16 or 32 bit
 registers as quite easily.  Program correctness must trump efficiency. 

All sweeping generalizations are false. Some of us don't have the luxury of taking more than 16.6 ms to finish one pass through the main loop of our program.
 Of course you can implement bounded pointers through overloading, but who
 actually does it?

Well, I do it, in any language wherein fascists aren't telling me that operator overloading is _dangerous_. Fortunately, Walter has "overloaded" the traditional C/C++ syntax to support bounds checking in D. Why do you support operator overloading to avoid having to write: if (myArray.Check( index )) { foo = myArray.GetElement( index ); } else { throw ArrayBoundsException; } instead of foo = myArray[ index ]; while not supporting being able to write: myColor += otherColor; instead of: myColor.Add( otherColor ); myColor.Clamp( 0, 0, 0, 255, 255, 255 );
 Why this kind of thing isn't already implemented in hardware is beyond me.
 It's not needed I guess.  All those buffer overflow problems that are the
 source of 90% of all the security exploits must be figments of my
 imagination...

That well known brain-damaged CPU architecture called x86 has had hardware bounds-checking available since the 286. Let me ask you, when writing in assembly, do you check the index every time you do an indexed memory access?
 Missing semicolons are the #1 bugaboo of all C programmers no matter what
 their level of experience.  Why not remove their requirement?

Missing semicolons don't bother me. The compiler bitches, I put the semicolon in, the problem is solved. 99% of the time, if I left the semicolon out, it's because I was rewriting code in a hurry and it's just as well that the compiler is making me take a second look.
 Unfortunately, members of the C religion are far too deep into the
 Plauktau - the blood fever - to listen to reason.
 
 Landru - guide us!
 
 All is chaos!

Yeah, thank goodness we have level headed pragmatic rationalists around to save us from the C zealots. -Russell Borogove
Feb 04 2002
next sibling parent reply "OddesE" <OddesE_XYZ hotmail.com> writes:
"Russell Borogove" <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
news:3C5ECE2D.6060500 estarcion.com...
 D wrote:

 Let me start by saying that I loath both C and C++.  These languages are
 abominations, abortions, unworthy of existence, a pox on the earth,


 C fails on so many levels that I don't know where to begin.  Even the
 standard I/O library is an abomination....

You should really stop beating around the bush and tell us how you really feel. Let me start by saying that C is like MS Windows, or like democracy. It's pretty much the most loathesome choice imaginable -- except for any of the others.
 I am also turned off by the lack of low level control that most
 high level languages provide.

I am skeptical of the ability of any language to provide both the safety that you seem to be calling for in most of your posts, and more low level control simultaneously.
 Having said that, I recognize that C/C++ fail to provide adequate low


 control for many common low level functions.

 These limitations are mostly a result of K&R (may they burn eternally in
 hell), defining a language that appeals to the lowest common denominator
 among all machines.

> [snip] > It was foolish of K&R to create a median level language for > low level coding while defining it in such a manner as to make the > production of low level code, outside the sanctioned scope of the > language. I assume K&R's view on this was roughly "if you want assembly language, you know where to find it." At the time, the stuff that had to be low level would be written in assembly, and C would provide some small relief from the tedium of writing everything else in asm. That C has been applied, since, to things it might not be optimally suited for is hardly K&R's fault.
 Portability is often raised as a reason for the existence of high level
 languages, but this is not a legitimate argument since low level


 can be made to be just as portable as high level ones.  Java byte code


 other languages that generate intermediate code or Pcode have repeatedly
 proven this.  JIT compilers are the final nail in the coffin.


 is a feature of any language, and not as it is so often claimed by


 of the C/C++ religions, a characteristic of high level languages.

As long as we're on the topic of Java, is there some reason it's not suitable for you?
 Consider that C omits block typing.  Those structured languages that


 descend from C, typically identify different kinds of blocks with


 bracketing keywords.  Do/While, If/Endif, Repeat/Until etc.

> [snip] It's entirely possible that K&R were aware of the argument you make, and rejected it on the grounds that, first, it's at least as common to have a tower of nested "for"s or nested "if"s, which don't benefit from your strategy: if (a) if (b) if (c) if (d) else (f) if (g) foo; endif endif endif endif endif -- and secondly, they were working in an environment where limited storage space and the nature of the teletype encouraged the evolution of extremely abbreviated syntax -- cf. all the two-letterisms of Unix.

I can't say I really like all those abbreviations though... To me they are a source of errors. I still hate if...endif, if..fi, do..done, repeat..until (although that one not as much) and even pascal's begin..end. {..} is just good enough. If you really want to show what line the closing } belongs to, just copy it and put it there as a comment.
 Yes, in an "if then" statement the keyword "then" is a redundancy.
 Redundancy is a very good thing.

Not at 300 baud.

Nothing is a good thing a 300 baud. Buy a new modem. Redundancy in communication with/to humans definitely is A Good Thing (tm). D has a very good point. I still hate if..fi, if..endif, while..endwhile, do..done....Oh sorry, getting redundant again... :)
 The more cryptic a language the more likely errors will be made.  The C
 "religion" accepts that C is superior to assembler because the C syntax


 more readable and more convenient to use than assembler.  I agree.


 C dogma then goes on to reject alterations in the syntax that would


 further benefits to readability and every other language convenience on


 grounds that they don't add any value to the language itself.  Clearly


 dogma is false.

I think C dogma rejects alterations in the syntax because of investment in existing codebases.

Which does not matter for D. I still hate if..fi, oh...did I already say that? :)
 It is not relevant if the underlying CPU or environment supports 8 bit
 integers or not. Such variables can be constructed with 16 or 32 bit
 registers as quite easily.  Program correctness must trump efficiency.

All sweeping generalizations are false.

"All sweeping generalizations are false." Ironic humor that that means this statement is also false.. :) But it is true ofcourse. Without efficiency some programs just can't exist, period.
 Some of us don't have the luxury of taking more than 16.6 ms
 to finish one pass through the main loop of our program.


 Of course you can implement bounded pointers through overloading, but


 actually does it?

Well, I do it, in any language wherein fascists aren't telling me that operator overloading is _dangerous_. Fortunately, Walter has "overloaded" the traditional C/C++ syntax to support bounds checking in D. Why do you support operator overloading to avoid having to write: if (myArray.Check( index )) { foo = myArray.GetElement( index ); } else { throw ArrayBoundsException; } instead of foo = myArray[ index ]; while not supporting being able to write: myColor += otherColor; instead of: myColor.Add( otherColor ); myColor.Clamp( 0, 0, 0, 255, 255, 255 );
 Why this kind of thing isn't already implemented in hardware is beyond


 It's not needed I guess.  All those buffer overflow problems that are


 source of 90% of all the security exploits must be figments of my
 imagination...

That well known brain-damaged CPU architecture called x86 has had hardware bounds-checking available since the 286. Let me ask you, when writing in assembly, do you check the index every time you do an indexed memory access?
 Missing semicolons are the #1 bugaboo of all C programmers no matter


 their level of experience.  Why not remove their requirement?

Missing semicolons don't bother me. The compiler bitches, I put the semicolon in, the problem is solved. 99% of the time, if I left the semicolon out, it's because I was rewriting code in a hurry and it's just as well that the compiler is making me take a second look.

You need to be able to separate statements....semicolons are fine. I actually hate using newlines as separators. Almost just as much as I hate if..fi and (*Aargh...annoyed crowd attacks poster that takes redundancy is A Good Thing just a tad too far.... :) )
 Unfortunately, members of the C religion are far too deep into the
 Plauktau - the blood fever - to listen to reason.

 Landru - guide us!

 All is chaos!

Yeah, thank goodness we have level headed pragmatic rationalists around to save us from the C zealots. -Russell Borogove

:) -- Stijn OddesE_XYZ hotmail.com http://OddesE.cjb.net __________________________________________ Remove _XYZ from my address when replying by mail
Feb 04 2002
parent "D" <s_nudds hotmail.com> writes:
OddesE <OddesE_XYZ hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:a3n5l3$20ts$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 I can't say I really like all those abbreviations though...
 To me they are a source of errors.
 I still hate if...endif, if..fi, do..done, repeat..until (although
 that one not as much) and even pascal's begin..end.
 {..} is just good enough. If you really want to show what
 line the closing } belongs to, just copy it and put it there
 as a comment.

Exactly <WRONG>. Comments aren't types. You might as well argue that variable types aren't needed, just put a comment your variant so youi know what type it is. If Block typing is not checked by the compler, then there is <NO> block typing. Odesse Repeats:
 Nothing is a good thing a 300 baud. Buy a new modem.
 Redundancy in communication with/to humans definitely is
 A Good Thing (tm). D has a very good point. I still hate
 if..fi, if..endif, while..endwhile, do..done....Oh sorry, getting
 redundant again... :)

Exactly <WRONG>. Comments aren't types. You might as well argue that variable types aren't needed, just put a comment your variant so youi know what type it is. If Block typing is not checked by the compler, then there is <NO> block typing.
 I think C dogma rejects alterations in the syntax because of
 investment in existing codebases.


 Which does not matter for D. I still hate if..fi, oh...did I already say
 that? :)

Actually it does matter. But that issue can be solved for the most part by translating C to D. The syntactic changes I have mentioned typically can be implemented by something only slightly more complex than a "pretty print" reformat utility. It's simply a matter of omitting opening brackets for most blocks, and remembering which block you are in and replacing it's terminating bracket with the approprate block ending keyword.
 It is not relevant if the underlying CPU or environment supports 8 bit
 integers or not. Such variables can be constructed with 16 or 32 bit
 registers as quite easily.  Program correctness must trump efficiency.

All sweeping generalizations are false.


Odesse writes:
 "All sweeping generalizations are false."
 Ironic humor that that means this statement is also false.. :)
 But it is true ofcourse. Without efficiency some programs
 just can't exist, period.

Then use assembler.
Feb 04 2002
prev sibling parent reply "D" <s_nudds hotmail.com> writes:
Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
 Let me start by saying that C is like MS Windows, or like democracy.
 It's pretty much the most loathesome choice imaginable -- except
 for any of the others.

C is the DOS of programming languages. It's long past due for something rational.
 I am also turned off by the lack of low level control that most
 high level languages provide.


Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
 I am skeptical of the ability of any language to provide both
 the safety that you seem to be calling for in most of your
 posts, and more low level control simultaneously.

Low level control can be handled by specifying a "virtual cpu" and providing the HLL constructs needed to interface to it's assembly language and include it's assembly language in line.. I am not suggesting that D provide such a feature at this time. But it should be in the back of the mind of the author. Outside of that, low level functionality that is excluded from C is the implicit assumption that data is stored as a sequence of binary digits in modulo signed form for signed numbers. Also not included is the ability to select between 1, 2, 4,and 8 byte signed and unsigned integers, perform efficient roll's of those integers, etc.
 These limitations are mostly a result of K&R (may they burn eternally in
 hell), defining a language that appeals to the lowest common denominator
 among all machines.

> [snip] > It was foolish of K&R to create a median level language for > low level coding while defining it in such a manner as to make the > production of low level code, outside the sanctioned scope of the > language.

Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
 I assume K&R's view on this was roughly "if you want assembly
 language, you know where to find it." At the time, the stuff that
 had to be low level would be written in assembly, and C would
 provide some small relief from the tedium of writing everything
 else in asm. That C has been applied, since, to things it might
 not be optimally suited for is hardly K&R's fault.

K&R created filth. They are responsible for the filth. It's as simple as that.
 Portability is often raised as a reason for the existence of high level
 languages, but this is not a legitimate argument since low level


 can be made to be just as portable as high level ones.  Java byte code


 other languages that generate intermediate code or Pcode have repeatedly
 proven this.  JIT compilers are the final nail in the coffin.


 is a feature of any language, and not as it is so often claimed by


 of the C/C++ religions, a characteristic of high level languages.


Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
 As long as we're on the topic of Java, is there some reason it's
 not suitable for you?

Java is essentially C++. C++ is filth. Hence Java is filth.
 Consider that C omits block typing.  Those structured languages that


 descend from C, typically identify different kinds of blocks with


 bracketing keywords.  Do/While, If/Endif, Repeat/Until etc.

> [snip]

Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
 It's entirely possible that K&R were aware of the argument you
 make, and rejected it on the grounds that, first, it's at least
 as common to have a tower of nested "for"s or nested "if"s, which
 don't benefit from your strategy: if (a) if (b) if (c) if (d)
 else (f) if (g) foo; endif endif endif endif endif -- and secondly,
 they were working in an environment where limited storage space
 and the nature of the teletype encouraged the evolution of extremely
 abbreviated syntax -- cf. all the two-letterisms of Unix.

Their stated justification was that they wished to produce a language with the minimum number of tokens If code size was their concern then it is clear to me that their requirement for indention to make the code readable would have been contradictory to their goals. I am forced to conclude then, that if code size was their concern, they are still fools for having implemented the C language structure.
 Yes, in an "if then" statement the keyword "then" is a redundancy.
 Redundancy is a very good thing.


Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
 Not at 300 baud.

Even at 300 baud. 30 Characters per second it would take an extra 1/10th of a second to replace } with next. Is that I brace I typed by the way? I can't tell with any of the Windows fonts. Snicker. With 25/2 lines of nexts instead of braces, that represents and extra 1.5 seconds per screen. Whoop-de-do!
 The more cryptic a language the more likely errors will be made.  The C
 "religion" accepts that C is superior to assembler because the C syntax


 more readable and more convenient to use than assembler.  I agree.


 C dogma then goes on to reject alterations in the syntax that would


 further benefits to readability and every other language convenience on


 grounds that they don't add any value to the language itself.  Clearly


 dogma is false.


Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
 I think C dogma rejects alterations in the syntax because of
 investment in existing codebases.

The syntatic changes I have proposed can for the most part be made through simple code translation that isn't much more complex than that used by print formatting utilities. The existing code base can be converted in an automated manner.
 It is not relevant if the underlying CPU or environment supports 8 bit
 integers or not. Such variables can be constructed with 16 or 32 bit
 registers as quite easily.  Program correctness must trump efficiency.


Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
 All sweeping generalizations are false.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
 Some of us don't have the luxury of taking more than 16.6 ms
 to finish one pass through the main loop of our program.

The time it takes will be highly dependent on the machine you are running the program on. If you are writing machine specific code that may not run on alternate platforms, then you have already violated C portability standards. In the case of the language syntax I have suggested, you would select the variable size appropriate for the platform you are targeting. Quite simple really. What is it that you don't understand?
 Of course you can implement bounded pointers through overloading, but


 actually does it?


Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
 Well, I do it, in any language wherein fascists aren't telling
 me that operator overloading is _dangerous_. Fortunately, Walter
 has "overloaded" the traditional C/C++ syntax to support bounds
 checking in D.

Overloading the syntax is insufficient since the variables are not native to the language. Hence there is no direction to the hardware guys to implement them at the register level where they belong. As to operator overloading, you have already lost that argument multiple times. Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
 Why do you <not> support operator overloading to avoid having to write:

    if (myArray.Check( index ))
    {
       foo = myArray.GetElement( index );
    }
    else
    {
       throw ArrayBoundsException;
    }

 instead of

    foo = myArray[ index ];

 while not supporting being able to write:

    myColor += otherColor;

 instead of:

    myColor.Add( otherColor );
    myColor.Clamp( 0, 0, 0, 255, 255, 255 );

Clearly because range restricted pointers are best implemented as an internal type rather than a derrived class. I'm not interested in hiding failure and sloth behind syntactic candy.
 Why this kind of thing isn't already implemented in hardware is beyond


 It's not needed I guess.  All those buffer overflow problems that are


 source of 90% of all the security exploits must be figments of my
 imagination...


Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
 That well known brain-damaged CPU architecture called x86 has
 had hardware bounds-checking available since the 286. Let me
 ask you, when writing in assembly, do you check the index
 every time you do an indexed memory access?

Segments do not provide adequate bounds checking limits since segmetns are typically very large. So essentially there is no effective bounds checking on pointer operations. And yes, in those cases where I am not iterating over a loop where the loop counter is set to the size of the buffer I am working on, I check bounds every time the pointer changes value. It would be much more efficient to simply load the pointer register with the initial pointer, and the start/end of the allowed range, and then iterate with the pointer automatically checked on each update for a range violation. On the CPU level, the comparisons can be performed in parallel with the operations, and since all range violations can be considered critical program errors, there is no requirement that the update check can not cause an exception after the fact.
 Missing semicolons are the #1 bugaboo of all C programmers no matter


 their level of experience.  Why not remove their requirement?


Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
 Missing semicolons don't bother me. The compiler bitches, I put
 the semicolon in, the problem is solved. 99% of the time, if I
 left the semicolon out, it's because I was rewriting code in a
 hurry and it's just as well that the compiler is making me take
 a second look.

In other words, you omit semicolons regularly and then are forced to recompile due to an error that need not have occurred in the first place if the semicolon requirement were not there. Thank you for illustrating my point so clearly.
 Unfortunately, members of the C religion are far too deep into the
 Plauktau - the blood fever - to listen to reason.

 Landru - guide us!

 All is chaos!


Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
 Yeah, thank goodness we have level headed pragmatic rationalists
 around to save us from the C zealots.

We have not been saved from the C Zealots. If we had been, the world wouldn't be flooded by buggy software written in C/C++ by the brainwashed code monkeys By the way, I just clipped the above paragraph and pasted it into my text editor. 2/3's of the text was missing. C/C++ are among the worst languages ever written. I recommend immediate replacement. .
Feb 04 2002
next sibling parent reply user domain.invalid writes:
Yeah, thank goodness we have level headed pragmatic rationalists
around to save us from the C zealots.

We have not been saved from the C Zealots. If we had been, the world wouldn't be flooded by buggy software written in C/C++ by the brainwashed code monkeys By the way, I just clipped the above paragraph and pasted it into my text editor. 2/3's of the text was missing. C/C++ are among the worst languages ever written. I recommend immediate replacement.

So, were is _YOUR_ language and compiler????
Feb 05 2002
parent "D" <s_nudds hotmail.com> writes:
   C/C++ are among the worst languages ever written.

   I recommend immediate replacement.


<user domain.invalid> wrote in message news:3C5FAD72.4030201 domain.invalid...
 So, were is _YOUR_ language and compiler????

I am reluctant to write one, because I don't think I can write a langauge alone that optimizes as well as existing compilers. The really sad part about this is that C compilers are very poor optimizers and typically produce code that is 2-4 times larger and 2-4 times slower than can be produced by hand. Truly unfortunate.
Feb 05 2002
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Pavel Minayev" <evilone omen.ru> writes:
"D" <s_nudds hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:a3nu2r$2ecd$1 digitaldaemon.com...

 Java is essentially C++.  C++ is filth.  Hence Java is filth.

ROTFLMAO!!!
   Even at 300 baud.  30 Characters per second it would take an extra

 of a second to replace }  with next.

 Is that I brace I typed by the way?  I can't tell with any of the Windows
 fonts. Snicker.

Write programs in full-screen text mode. It's the way all true coders do this - and so do I =)
Feb 05 2002
parent "D" <s_nudds hotmail.com> writes:
Pavel Minayev <evilone omen.ru> wrote in message
news:a3oda2$2lf1$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 Write programs in full-screen text mode. It's the way all true coders
 do this - and so do I =)

Sorry that just isn't in the cares with an IDE. Teletype coding went out with the virtual abandonment of crap command line operating systems like Unix and DOS. I've done my share of terminal mode programming. Writing windowing applications in terminal mode is very much like knitting using boxing gloves. You can do it, But no one in thier right mind would consider it.
Feb 05 2002
prev sibling parent reply Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> writes:
D wrote:

 Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
 
That well known brain-damaged CPU architecture called x86 has
had hardware bounds-checking available since the 286. Let me
ask you, when writing in assembly, do you check the index
every time you do an indexed memory access?

Segments do not provide adequate bounds checking limits since segmetns are typically very large. So essentially there is no effective bounds checking on pointer operations.

I'm speaking of the BOUND instruction (if I'm remembering rightly), not segmentation. As for the rest of your response, your mind appears to be made up, so I see little point in debate. -Russell B
Feb 05 2002
parent "D" <s_nudds hotmail.com> writes:
Russell Borogove <kaleja estarcion.com> wrote in message
news:3C6010F5.2070908 estarcion.com...
 I'm speaking of the BOUND instruction (if I'm remembering
 rightly), not segmentation.

 As for the rest of your response, your mind appears to be
 made up, so I see little point in debate.

Ah, well there is a bound instruction. But the bound instruction is a separate instruction, that must be executed independently of pointer operations. It is certainly better than performing both upper and lower bounding tests separately, but it does not represent a bounded pointer type. It can be used to synthasize one a lower than normal level though. The syntax for the Bound statement is BOUND OP1,*BoundStruct If OP1 is a 16 bit register, then Boundstruct dw lowerlimit dw upperlimit If Op1 is a 32 bit register, then Boundstruct dq lowerlimit dq upperlimit Bound treates OP1 as a "signed" index. so problems arrise if the address resides in the upper half of the 4 GB address space. A 32 bit bounded pointer could be synthasized as follows ptra dq 0 dq 0 dq 1000*4 count : xor eax,eax ; Clear sum mov cx,1000 ; Get size of array for loop omov esi, ptra ; si = ptr to array cntlop: lodzx ebx,[esi] ; load value to add add eax,ebx ; add element to sum add esi,2 ; bump ptr bound ptra+4 ; compare ptr against bounds loop cntlop ; proces entire array ret However for true bounded ptr you would have count : xor eax,eax ; Clear sum mov cx,1000 ; Get size of array for loop omovbp esi, ptra ; si = ptr to array cntlop: lodzx ebx[esi] ; load value to add add eax,ebx ; add element to sum add esi,2 ; bump ptr loop cntlop ; proces entire array ret
Feb 05 2002
prev sibling parent reply Tom Howard <thoward tibco.com> writes:
I know this was posted a while ago, but I can't help myself =)

D wrote:

 Consider that C omits block typing.  Those structured languages that don't
 descend from C, typically identify different kinds of blocks with different
 bracketing keywords.  Do/While, If/Endif, Repeat/Until etc.
 
 When reading a block typed program, if the programmer sees the word "until",
 he/she knows that the statement ends a "repeat" block.
 
 With C on the other hand the same delimiters are used for all blocks.  The
 bracket that ends a C block could be the end of an if block or any other
 kind of block.  The programmer is forced when reading the code, to search
 back through the program to find which block is being closed.   For
 convenience the strategy to combat this language failing is to progressively
 indent blocks so that the start of a block can easily be identified.  And of
 course sicne C is a free format language, we immediately run into the
 problem of people having different indention styles that typically make
 following code written by another person difficult.
 
 The indent requirement is utter lunacy.  No language should be able to have
 it's meaning be made essentially human unreadable through a simple loss of
 indentation.
 
 Insanity!

#define then { #define endif } if( i_am_insane ) then exit( EXIT_FAILURE ); endif
Feb 13 2002
parent reply "Juan Carlos Arevalo Baeza" <jcab JCABs-Rumblings.com> writes:
"Tom Howard" <thoward tibco.com> wrote in message
news:3C6B25BD.7040908 tibco.com...

 #define then {
 #define endif }

 if( i_am_insane ) then
 exit( EXIT_FAILURE );
 endif

void (helloWorld) then printf("Hello World!\n"); endif Salutaciones, JCAB http://www.JCABs-Rumblings.com
Feb 15 2002
parent reply "d" <s_nudds hotmail.com> writes:
A foolish nonsolution since the redefinition is not part of the standard
language and has side effects.

Juan Carlos Arevalo Baeza <jcab JCABs-Rumblings.com> wrote in message
news:a4ig8q$1dti$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 "Tom Howard" <thoward tibco.com> wrote in message
 news:3C6B25BD.7040908 tibco.com...

 #define then {
 #define endif }

 if( i_am_insane ) then
 exit( EXIT_FAILURE );
 endif

void (helloWorld) then printf("Hello World!\n"); endif Salutaciones, JCAB http://www.JCABs-Rumblings.com

Mar 04 2002
parent Clay <Clay_member pathlink.com> writes:
As someone who has had to "port" code through various versions of DOS and
Windows -- without of course ever making a deliberate choice to change OS's, I
wholeheartedly agree that it's moronic that 'C' defines an 'int' depending on
the CPU type.

Something like the following types are the only logical answer:

int8 (unsigned 8 bit)
Sint8 (Signed 8 bit)
int16 (unsigned 16 bit)
sint16 (signed 16 bit)
int32 (unsigned 32 bits)
sint32 (Signed 32 bits)
int64 (unsigned 64 bits)
sint64 (Signed 64 bits)
int128 (Unsigned 128 bits)
sint128 (Signed 128 bits)

The same with floats: float16, float32, float64.

I'm too busy programming to have to remember how many bits are in a 'long double
word float'

Clay
Dec 29 2005