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Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
Furthermore, I think it's a mistake to give the number of ranks instead of the dimension bounds. As I explained in a reply to Bear, you can't infer array shape from a list decomposition if the array has any 0-bounded dimensions.
Wild idea (where 'type' is optional): #[bound ...]type(elements ...) This would be the API "rho" operation, if I remember correctly. Elements would be the "unravelled" values in row-major-order. E.g. #[2 3]int32(11 12 13 21 22 23)
Instead, the external representation for arrays should list the dimensions (e.g., #A2x3(...) or #A:2:3(...)). This permits unambiguous reading and writing of "empty" multi-dimension arrays, it permits the PLT shorthand notation for large, repetitive arrays, and it avoids confusion with the #n(...) syntax for vectors.
My main objection is that it looks too close to the Common Lisp syntax. E.g. #A2((1 2) (3 4)) could easily be a typo for #2A((1 2) (3 4))
which means something very different. Hence, I'd leave out the A, and make the syntax compatible with mzscheme: #2x3(...) There is a question of whether the elements should be shown flattened or nested: #2x3(11 12 13 21 22 23) or #2x3((11 12 13) (21 22 23)) There is also a problem in that the syntax fails in the case of rank-0 arrays. That is an argument for leaving in the 'A'.
More technical argument: What happens with a rank-0 array? In APL this is equivalent to a scalar, and in any case a rank-0 array has a single element. Given the choice between #A0XXX and #0AXXX, the latter is better since the former leads to ambiguities.I don't think the Scheme reader should support this "array notation" for scalars.
I didn't mean to suggest that. I just mentioned it as a "by the way". However, a Scheme that support general arrays should still support 0-rank arrays, and so we need to consider the degenerate case. With my suggested syntax, it would be: #234 -- --Per Bothner per@xxxxxxxxxxx http://per.bothner.com/