[E-Lang] Syntax change: reducing side-effects

hal@finney.org hal@finney.org
Sun, 11 Feb 2001 16:47:25 -0800

Dean Tribble, <tribble@e-dean.com>, writes:
> Summary: all defining occurrences of names now default to 'final', unless 
> they are prefixed by 'var', in which case they are settable.  In addition, 
> 'var' can be used as a top-level construct as an alternative to 'define' 
> (equivalent to 'define var').

This would interfere with the way I have developed some small E programs
in the past.  I would run E in its iteractive mode, and then edit my
E program in another window using Emacs.  Then I copy and paste the
functions from the Emacs window into the E window.  If the function
doesn't work right, I change it in Emacs and then copy it over again.

With the proposed convention I gather I'd have to add the "var"
declaration to all my function names.  Then when I had them all working
the way I wanted I'd have to go through and take all the "var"s out.

I've always liked interactive development systems that let you work like
this, going back to APL.  You define a function and then try calling
it from the command line, and when it works you define more complex
functions that use it.  Does anyone else use E this way?