March 03, 2005
In article <d05as5$qei$1@digitaldaemon.com>, Walter says...
>
>
>"Georg Wrede" <georg.wrede@nospam.org> wrote in message news:42261AE9.2080708@nospam.org...
>> A throw-in-the-air idea, what if we used minus ("-")?
>
>Because then array[length - 1] becomes array[- - 1].
>
> :-(
>
How about @ for "something big" and $ for length?

Ugis


March 03, 2005
Hi..

Don't forget that 'length' always appears in kind-of the same form within [ ]:

array[0..length-n]

(I don't know, can you reverse an array with array[length..0] ?)

Anyway, "#" seems a good candidate.

L.




March 03, 2005
Martin M. Pedersen wrote:
> "cahoots" <cahoots_member@pathlink.com> skrev i en meddelelse news:d05p58$1bn6$1@digitaldaemon.com...
>  I do also. But it would conflict with CPP, as someone else pointed out.
> 
> I don't see any serious conflict with the preprocessor. First, '#' used within the brackets is unlikely to appear as the first token on a line. Second, an identifier is unlikely to appear as the following token. The only place i see a potential conflict is within macro replacement lists, but i could easily live with that.
> 
> Regards,
> Martin
> 
> 
I agree.  Anyhow, the "D preprocessor" is an imaginary thing that may not ever be needed.  I don't see why D should cater to a tool that doesn't exist.  If a preprocessor is required, it should conform to D, not the other way around.  I vote that # should be used to denote array length.

Brad
March 03, 2005
> The $ idea for the length is a good one. The reason I didn't adopt it was
> because I am trying to save $ for something big. I have a lot of thoughts
> (inspired by some emails from Andrei A.) that $ could be very, very useful
> in a future metaprogramming feature. Using $ as a length is a minor use, too
> minor for such an important symbol!
> 
> So the options are:
> 
> 1) Make it illegal for length within [ ] to hide another length in an outer
> scope. This would essentially preclude length being used as a global, or
> even as a class member.
> 
> 2) Same as (1), but only restrict it if length is a variable local to a
> function.
> 
> 3) Make length a keyword. This is not that much different from (1).
> 
> 4) Change length to another identifier. Nothing stands out as being
> obviously right.
> 
> 5) Invent a token for it that is other than '$'.

$len (or even $length) seems best to me, it doesn't conflict with anything and is markedly different than a normal identifier, as it should be. The only issue is backwards compatibility, but I guess the whole point is to change the current behavior, so that may not be a real issue? Perhaps it should be done together with (1) to not break all the code out there, just some..


xs0
March 03, 2005

Derek Parnell wrote:
> On Thu, 03 Mar 2005 10:57:34 +1300, brad@domain.invalid wrote:
> 
> 
>>Norbert Nemec wrote:
>>
>>>How about changing the identifier to 'len'?
>>>* Easy to read
>>>* Pretty intuitive to understand
>>>* I can't think of anything to mix it up with
>>>* used by other languages already (e.g. Python)
>>>* MUCH EASIER TO TYPE (Ever found yourself typeing "lenght"?)
>>>
>>>Question still is, how to handle it. The cleanest idea that I can come with is to really make it a keyword. If you leave it an identifier, it needs some special handling that makes the language more complex. One more keyword does not hurt anyone. If it breaks any code, it will not do it silently.
>>>
>>>My proposal would be to leave the property of arrays called "length". Inside index espressions, it gives the length of the corresponding dimension. (has to be worked out more clearly for ND-arrays) Anywhere else it mich still serve as prefix operator, allowing to write 'len(myarray)' (or even 'len myarray') instead of myarray.length
>>
>>What about the ` (backtick) character, I don't think that we use that for anything right now.
>>
>>When used prefix to an array, it returns the length of the array, and when used inside [] it functions the same for the closest surrounding array.
>>
>>int[] i;
>>`i = 50; // set length
>>writef("Length is %d\n", `i);
>>i[`-1] = 0; // set last element in the array to 0
>>
>>Thoughts?
>>Brad
> 
> 
> The tick (back-quote) is already being used. It defines a raw string
> literal.
> 
>    char[] X = `c:\dmd\bin\`
> 
> However, the issue is that the syntax for slices and array references is 
> 
>  '[' Expression '..' Expression ']'
> 
> and
> 
>  '[' Expression ']'
> 
> respectively. So whatever is legal in an Expression is going to cause
> clashes and trouble for somebody at sometime. And even when you find an
> existing symbol/keyword that does not form a valid Expression, you can get
> the impression (eg. a 'lint' can form this idea) that the coder has just
> made a coding mistake. Thus things like Foo[4 .. - ] looks like the coder
> forgot something.
> 
> I also suggest that sticking to ASCII characters (for now) is going to
> cause less grief for all those millions of ASCII keyboards out there.
> 
> The $ symbol already denotes 'end of' in regular expressions, and many
> people are familiar with that. It is not a large context shift in people's
> current thinking. But if a lone $ is too important to 'waste' of this huge
> cost saving device (clarity and precision in referencing the end of an
> array), then maybe it can be combined to something else to form the
> required token. 
> 
>   len$ 
>   $$
>   [$] 
>   #$
>   $#
> 
> etc ... 
> 
> Some regard symbols as ugly, but I have the personal experience that a
> symbol to denote this concept truly aids the reading, *and* the writing, of
> code. This is not some theoretical belief.

We could always use ..$ which would't reserve $ (at least not that bad.

[foo .. ..$]
[2 .. ..$]

At this point one might even suggest a shorthand:
[2 ..$]
[2+3 .. ..$-7] or [2+3 ..$-7]
[0 .. (..$/2)]

I assume there's no problem with

anarray[lookuptable[3] .. lookuptable[..$]]

meaning from contents of index 3 of lokuptable to contents of the last index of lookuptable  -- are a slice of anarray?

It's not perfect, but it doesn't look fully ugly either. And the meaning of ..$ should be easy to figure out even without knowing D.
March 03, 2005
In article <d06rks$2e97$1@digitaldaemon.com>, xs0 says...
>
>> The $ idea for the length is a good one. The reason I didn't adopt it was because I am trying to save $ for something big. I have a lot of thoughts (inspired by some emails from Andrei A.) that $ could be very, very useful in a future metaprogramming feature. Using $ as a length is a minor use, too minor for such an important symbol!
>> 
>> So the options are:
>> 
>> 1) Make it illegal for length within [ ] to hide another length in an outer scope. This would essentially preclude length being used as a global, or even as a class member.
>> 
>> 2) Same as (1), but only restrict it if length is a variable local to a
>> function.
>> 
>> 3) Make length a keyword. This is not that much different from (1).
>> 
>> 4) Change length to another identifier. Nothing stands out as being obviously right.
>> 
>> 5) Invent a token for it that is other than '$'.
>
>$len (or even $length) seems best to me, it doesn't conflict with anything and is markedly different than a normal identifier, as it should be. The only issue is backwards compatibility, but I guess the whole point is to change the current behavior, so that may not be a real issue? Perhaps it should be done together with (1) to not break all the code out there, just some..
>
>
>xs0

I agree. And there's no issue with backward compatability since '$' is not legal within an identifier.

As someone else noted, this should be extended to $arguments and $argptr -- it's a good way to isolate meta-tags off to one side. Don't know what Walter has in mind for '$' by itself, but surely it could be worked into a scheme of using '$' as a tag prefix?

'#' is nice also, but it might be better to generalize the resolution to something broader than just implicit array lengths?


March 03, 2005

> 4) Change length to another identifier. Nothing stands out as being obviously right.

final

and it would be length-1. So that one could write

  char[] x;
  ...
  x[final] = 0;
  x[ final .. final+1] = 0;

I don't think it is ambiguous with the use of final in other contexts, but I haven't completely checked that.


March 03, 2005
Walter wrote:
> 5) Invent a token for it that is other than '$'.
> 
> 

I'm not sure if anyone suggested it yet.  I'm sure it has been suggested in the past.  Why don't we use /no/ symbol:

# char[] y;
# y[0 ..] = 0;   // slice from 0 to end of array - initialize to zero
# y[..] = 0;     // slice equivalent to whole array (as above)
# y[1 .. -1] = 0;	// slice from 1 to end of array-1

Perhaps I've completely missed some problem with this.  But it seems okay.

I don't too much like those methods that use a keyword or "length" symbol.  If feels awkward.

-JJR

March 03, 2005
"U.Baumanis" <U.Baumanis_member@pathlink.com> wrote in message news:d06gf7$231k$1@digitaldaemon.com...
> In article <d05as5$qei$1@digitaldaemon.com>, Walter says...
> >
> >
> >"Georg Wrede" <georg.wrede@nospam.org> wrote in message news:42261AE9.2080708@nospam.org...
> >> A throw-in-the-air idea, what if we used minus ("-")?
> >
> >Because then array[length - 1] becomes array[- - 1].
> >
> > :-(
> >
> How about @ for "something big" and $ for length?

That's what Matthew suggested. I'm leaning that way at this point.


March 03, 2005
On Thu, 03 Mar 2005 11:20:40 -0800, John Reimer <brk_6502@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Walter wrote:
>> 5) Invent a token for it that is other than '$'.
>>
>
> I'm not sure if anyone suggested it yet.  I'm sure it has been suggested in the past.  Why don't we use /no/ symbol:
>
> # char[] y;
> # y[0 ..] = 0;   // slice from 0 to end of array - initialize to zero
> # y[..] = 0;     // slice equivalent to whole array (as above)
> # y[1 .. -1] = 0;	// slice from 1 to end of array-1

The last example looks a bit odd.. also is it legal to say:

y[-5 .. -1]  //slice the data before the start of the array

assuming you know there is data there?

Regan
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