[bitc-dev] White space

wren ng thornton wren at freegeek.org
Tue Aug 10 11:03:17 PDT 2010


Ben Kloosterman wrote:
> I agree it's a not a case of one or all but where to draw the line. The fact
> that C style languages already have a fairly full symbol list for working on
> mutable data means we are going to get a lot of operators...

C has very few symbols allocated to mutability. It has symbolic function 
names for...

     total orders (>,<,>=,<=,==,!=)
     fields (+,-,*,/,%)
     boolean algebras (~,^,&,|)
     conditional expressions (&&,||,?:)
     miscellaneous bitwise manipulations (++,--,<<,>>)

None of which have anything to do with mutability. It also has symbolic 
names for functions regarding memory dereferencing (.,->,&,[]) which 
don't involve mutability themselves, though they imply the existence of 
mutability elsewhere in the language. The only operator that has to do 
with mutation is assignment, and the various derived assignment operators.

While total orders, fields, and boolean algebras are common in computer 
science, why should they be the only mathematical objects supported by 
the language?

-- 
Live well,
~wren


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