[m-dev.] module system discussion

Tyson Dowd trd at cs.mu.OZ.AU
Thu Dec 13 16:55:14 AEDT 2001

On 12-Dec-2001, Ralph Becket <rafe at cs.mu.OZ.AU> wrote:
> Tyson Dowd, Wednesday, 12 December 2001:
> > 
> > Well by this logic we can certainly remove all those (non-minimalist)
> > functions which you and Fergus see quite keen on adding to the language
> > and library all over the place...
> Excquise you?

s/see/seem/ in my text.

I was being a bit obtuse so perhaps I will state my opinion plainly.

What I mean is that I object to people becoming overnight "language
minimalists".  It is easy to dismiss requests for new features on
the grounds of minimalism.  Anything that doesn't strictly add
expressive power is rejected out of hand.

But Mercury is not a minimal language (as the example of functions more
than adequately shows).  I pick this example because I know that you and
Fergus use functions all the time and yet they are absolutely
unnecessary and a minimalist logic language designer would never added
them to the language (nor probably used them).

Having you and Fergus object on the grounds that you are language
minimalists (IMHO simply not true) and that because on minimalistic
grounds this feature is useless (this is true) and ergo should not be
added (could be OK if Mercury were a minimalist language) seems a little
bit cheeky.

To get to the point -- the feature is not absolutely necessary, but when
has that ever stopped us from adding something to the language or
advocating its use when appropriate?  I feel that you need to convince
me that it is not appropriate to use often enough to add to the
language (or that Mercury really is a minimal language after all!).

       Tyson Dowd           # 
                            #  Surreal humour isn't everyone's cup of fur.
     trd at cs.mu.oz.au        # 
http://www.cs.mu.oz.au/~trd #
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