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Re: PATCH: Merge objc-improvements-branch to mainline

From: Alexander Malmberg
Subject: Re: PATCH: Merge objc-improvements-branch to mainline
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 02:18:48 +0200

Stan Shebs wrote:
> Alexander Malmberg wrote:
> >I see no reason why this part is worth the trouble it causes. In my
> >opinion, this part should not be merged. If necessary, I can clean up
> >the patch by removing these parts.
> This has been one of the most heavily-requested features for ObjC.

Interestingly, in the GNUstep mailing lists, which have a large number
of active objective-c developers, I don't recall ever seeing any request
for this (and a quick scan through the archives and checking with others
who have followed the list back this up).

> While
> it's true that it's syntactic sugar, so is for(), and yet few suggest
> that it should be removed from C.

Removing existing syntactic sugar and not adding new syntactic sugar are
vastly different situations. Also, it sometimes makes sense to add
syntactic sugar. Syntactic sugar is seldom completely worthless, but
often not worthwhile.

> For that matter, many programmers
> contend that ObjC and C++ are unnecessary syntactic sugar too...

And those programmers are free to use c. If you think java/c++ exception
handling is not unnecessary syntactic sugar, you are free to use java or

(And I am, of course, free (forced, even) to not use these new features,
but that's just another reason not to add them. :)

> The
> rationale for adding exception handling, aside from the incessant user
> requests, is that it is hard to get right manually,

Granted, but not to the extent that changing the language is worthwhile.

> plus the manual
> solution involves fooling around with explicit flow control in the form
> of setjmp/longjmp, which you really want to hide whenever possible.

It is hidden in the current implementations, but in the libraries, which
is better imho. It's hidden, but not so deep that you need to be a
compiler hacker to understand, adjust, or replace it.

- Alexander Malmberg

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