[m-dev.] module system discussion

Fergus Henderson fjh at cs.mu.OZ.AU
Thu Dec 13 17:20:00 AEDT 2001

On 13-Dec-2001, Tyson Dowd <trd at cs.mu.OZ.AU> wrote:
> 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!).

It's always a trade-off.  For a feature to be worth adding to the
language, it's not enough that it would sometimes be appropriate to use
that feature if it were present.  The feature has to provide a substantial
benefit (relative to the increase in language complexity that it causes).

For functions, it's clear to me that they provide very substantial benefit,
at little cost in increased complexity.

For transparent modules, the increase in complexity seems to me to be
similar to the increase in complexity for adding functions, but the
benefit seems much much less.

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