[mercury-users] Empty conjuncts?

Peter Hawkins peter at hawkins.emu.id.au
Fri Jul 22 14:21:25 AEST 2005

Ralph Becket wrote:

>Peter Hawkins, Friday, 22 July 2005:
>>Would it be possible to relax mercury's syntax a little, and allow empty 
>>elements in conjunctions? In other words, this should be valid:
>I'd vote against that change, aesthetically speaking.  Honestly, do you
>really spend that much time fixing comma bugs?
It's not so much time, rather annoyance. It's just about guaranteed that 
every time I build a newly edited mercury program I'll find a comma bug. 
Looking at the thread Mark posted it seems I'm not alone. I think 
allowing empty conjuncts makes semantic sense, and is unlikely to break 
anything. I kind of like the fact that ';' is a valid statement in C, 
for example.

The semicolon in C doesn't annoy me because it's consistent (every line 
of procedural body code needs one, modulo statements that you split 
across multiple lines like 'if' and 'for'). In mercury, whether a line 
of code needs a comma, period, or nothing at all depends on other lines. 
This constantly bites me when I remove or add lines of code, and forces 
me to endure another compile cycle to fix it.

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