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

zooko@mad-scientist.com zooko@mad-scientist.com
Sun, 11 Feb 2001 19:13:13 -0800

 Dean Tribble wrote:
[... a proposal to add immutable names to E]
> The result, however, was that the 100+ other uses of 'def' in the document 
> correctly supported the programmers assumption of immutability!
> The other big consequence of this is that interpreter and compiler can use 
> that information for substantial performance improvement for the by-far 
> typical case of no assignment.
> Comments?

Bravo!  Satisfying common programmer assumptions and thus preventing
subtle and confusing bugs seems like a huge win to me.  (Caveat:
I've never written a line of E, or actually I've never *executed* a
line of E though I've written several in the margins of printouts.)

Also the possibilities for optimization on the part of a
compiler/interpreter are enticing.