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Re: [Bug-apl] Feature suggestion: multiple function arguments

From: Elias Mårtenson
Subject: Re: [Bug-apl] Feature suggestion: multiple function arguments
Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2016 22:28:01 +0800

On 5 March 2016 at 19:29, Juergen Sauermann <address@hidden> wrote:

IMHO a language does not get any better if it provides
different syntactic constructs for (almost) the same thing. The complexity of the
language is being increased without a noticeable benefit. I would also claim
that the best languages are not those that have the most features, bit those
that have a clean (and, minimal) structure.

While I agree with the general sentiment that generic, minimal structures are better than lots of special cases, one should not always follow that principle without exception.

After all, what is × if not just syntactic sugar for {+/⍺⍴⍵} ?

In my opinion, a better rule of thumb is to look at a proposed feature and determine if it eliminates unnecessary repetition. Your example:

      ∇multi a
      (a1 a2 a3)←a

Does not have much of repetition, and if this was the complete story I'd be 100% in agreement with you. However, you missed one thing:

      ∇multi a;a1;a2;a3
      (a1 a2 a3)←a

Here we can see that there is repetition of the three variables a1, a2 and a3. Whether that repetition is unnecessary or not I will leave to others to judge, but the argument for this extension is certainly a valid one.

That said, I feel that there are plenty of potential extensions that should be implemented that are much more important than this one, so I don't personally care much about this one at all. :-)


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