[E-Lang] syntax for newbies: where's the dot?

Mark S. Miller markm@caplet.com
Tue, 27 Feb 2001 21:17:17 -0800

At 05:50 PM Tuesday 2/27/01, zooko@mad-scientist.com wrote:
>So if you will, please practice your powers of persuasion, pretend I am
>a petulant Python programmer, and explain to me why I can't write
>"fork.smash(spamlump)" in E.

You can write it, E just won't accept it.  Oops, so sorry.  I seem to be 
practicing my anti-persuasive powers.  Let's try that again.

I got rid of "." for the same reasons I got rid of ";":

1) For command language usage.  The most command commands will be

    receiver msgName

Eventually, I want to so command line completion on the msgName as well.

In any case, for the kind of really casual usage you want on a command line, 
space really is easier to hit than plus, and I believe this makes a difference.

2) To remove visual noise.  "." and ";" add no new information, and simply 
make the code harder for the eye to parse.  I actually would have liked to 
go to Python-like block structure by indentation for the same reason, but as 
you're corroborating, that would have gone too far.

Well, I've probably demonstrated that my writing ability is hardly "powers 
of persuasion", but it's what I've got.  How'd I do?