[mercury-users] Empty conjuncts?

Ralph Becket rafe at cs.mu.OZ.AU
Fri Jul 22 14:52:51 AEST 2005

Peter Hawkins, Friday, 22 July 2005:
> Ralph Becket wrote:
> >
> >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.

I'd rather make commas optional (i.e. allow juxtaposition to indicate
conjunction) than allow empty conjunctions.

> 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.

Yes, Pascal has the same problem - separators are a pain; terminators
are okay; nothing is best (IMHO).
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