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Re: sweet-expressions are not homoiconic

This page is part of the web mail archives of SRFI 110 from before July 7th, 2015. The new archives for SRFI 110 contain all messages, not just those from before July 7th, 2015.

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 > So while you point out a legitimate issue, it's an issue
 > we have already identified and solved.

        By adding markers.  That's my point.

 > I view notations as an engineering exercise, ...

        Maybe that's part of the difficulty.  Certainly Wheeler has arrived
at an engineering solution to the problems he encountered.  I view
notations as ways of expressing and communicating ideas.

 > Simplicity is a useful goal, but it must not be the only one.

        I agree.

 > Do you have a specific recommendation instead?

        No.  I contributed to this discussion because I wanted to state the
moral of the cautionary tale clearly and emphatically, for the benefit of
future innovators who might be tempted to repeat the cycle:  If a
programming language features syntactic constructions with varying numbers
of components that are frequently deeply nested, you can't make programs
written in that language more readable by replacing the grouping symbols
with whitespace.  Whitespace is needed for other purposes that aren't fully
consistent with grouping.

        I'm hoping that programming language designers will eventually be
able to anticipate that the use of whitespace for grouping is a bad idea,
just as they have come to understand that the use of whitespace as a
pattern-matching or concatenation operator (as in SNOBOL4) was a bad idea.

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