White space vs. text for program structuring

Ka-Ping Yee ping@lfw.org
Tue, 28 Sep 1999 15:09:18 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 28 Sep 1999, Bill Frantz wrote:
> Since people use the two dimensional appearance and (most) languages use
> one dimensional token parsing to determine program structure, there is more
> than enough room for error to creep in.  I have always thought that warning
> diagnostics for situations where the two methods give different structures
> would be useful.

Yes, this is one of the strongest arguments for indentation-based block
structure: the braces are redundant, because people will indent their
code and visually interpret their code by indentation anyway.  Problems
happen when the two are inconsistent.

For me the controversy over tab sizes isn't really relevant; it's just
the command language issue that's the sticking point.

I suppose we can revisit the command language issue.  Mark, is it still
an essential part of your E plan that people be able to use E as their

I would dearly love to find a nice compromise between the two but i'm
not sure what that would be.  Auto-indenting in an interactive shell
might be enough to make braceless E work.  Maybe.

-- ?!ng

        I never dreamt that i would get to be
        The creature that i always meant to be
        But i thought, in spite of dreams,
        You'd be sitting somewhere here with me.