[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Another alternative (Re: format strings are the Right Thing)

This page is part of the web mail archives of SRFI 48 from before July 7th, 2015. The new archives for SRFI 48 contain all messages, not just those from before July 7th, 2015.

On Dec 29, 2003, at 11:22 PM, Alex Shinn wrote:

[Order of reply is changed slightly.]

I think the primary arguments are against using any kind of
mini-language at all vs. just using normal function composition of
write and display.

No. It's against _badly_designed_ mini-languages, and _especially_ those encoded in the totally wrong data structure: strings (which we still aren't particularly solid on the definition & usage of, with regard to character sets, Unicode, multi-byte stuff, et cetera). Marc Feeley had another point, too: that separating the directive and the argument to that directive is a bad idea. You state that separating them is separating data from logic, but it is not: the data is the _combination_ of directive and input; the logic is what uses
that data to produce the final output.

(Before you say something along the lines of 'this whole SRFI is about strings; why on earth would you want to avoid them?' let me state that the formatting _output_ is about strings (whether it be in Scheme's string structure, in some future string structure in, for any n such that n > 5, RnRs, in output ports, in streams, or anything), but the formatting routines themselves can be much more structured; likewise, SREs' _input_ deals with processing of strings, but the code to use & manipulate SREs is a lot more structured than as the obscure,
string-encoded format of POSIX regexps.)

But SRE is still a mini-language.  Indeed, I've been suggesting
possibilities of using arbitrary lists or more verbose format strings.

Verbose format strings aren't much better than format strings with single-
character directives: they still have all the above problems.

What do you mean by 'using arbitrary lists?' I don't believe you've described this alternative in great detail, or if you have, my scouring of the archive
has proven fruitless.