[m-dev.] io__write et al

Fergus Henderson fjh at cs.mu.oz.au
Wed Apr 23 11:46:07 AEST 1997

Zoltan Somogyi, you wrote:
> > 	io__print_quoted: (this predicate is not exported)
> > 		If the type is univ, print the value, and then a
> > 		type-qualifier (":"), and then the module-qualified type name.
> It would seem more intuitive to have these reversed; the type name
> should help you interpret the value. Also, make sure that the module qualifier
> and type qualifiers can be told apart.

Well, my plan is to use `:' for type qualifiers, and `.' for module qualifiers.

For a human reader, I think using a postfix type qualification `Value : Type'
is better than a prefix `Type : Value' or `Type # Value'.  Usually a human
will be more interested in the value rather than the type, and usually they
won't have trouble disambiguating things, so usually they won't even need
to look at the type.  It is also more consistent with the notation used
by other languages.

For parsing purposes, a prefix type qualification could be a little more
efficient, but I don't think the difference is likely to be of great
significance, and if you want maximum efficiency then you'll use
`read_binary' and `write_binary' rather than `read' and `write'.

Fergus Henderson <fjh at cs.mu.oz.au>   |  "I have always known that the pursuit
WWW: <http://www.cs.mu.oz.au/~fjh>   |  of excellence is a lethal habit"
PGP: finger fjh at         |     -- the last words of T. S. Garp.

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