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January 05, 2006
Re: Symbol to char[] (OT: language)
John Reimer wrote:
> John Reimer wrote:
>> James Dunne wrote:
>>> Thanks for taking the time to check it out!
>>> What do you think of the latest post on {% %} syntax for Identifier 
>>> generation?  Would really come in handy with templates, yet again.
>> Ah yes, I see you changed the syntax... if I had only read a little 
>> further :).  The colon method was attractive because of its 
>> simplicity, but I see that it could cause some parsing difficulties. 
>> {% %} certainly stands out, but then it begins to look more like a 
>> preprocessor directive; in which case, I guess the C preprocessor was 
>> what used to do these sort of things in the first place.  Either way, 
>> it would be nice if D or your language could experiment with these 
>> options; these things shouldn't require a full blown preprocessor. I 
>> fervently hope that we /never/ return to the era of preprocessors.

*Raised eyebrows with inquisitive look on face* =)

> Sorry, James.  After further reading at your blog, I conclude that my 
> above paragraph is completely confused concerning {% %}.  Disregard this 
> paragraph. :P
> -JJR

Hahaha.  No problem.  Though in a way you were somewhat on track, since 
that {% %} block was intended to succeed the era of preprocessors and 
let the compiler do the work of generating identifiers.

I guess one general aim of mine is to reduce to a bare minimum the 
amount of cases where an external code generator is required.  The only 
obstacle is trying to track down a large subset of patterns I see common 
in code and trying to alleviate the painstaking work by pushing that 
work to the compiler instead of leaving it to the programmer (or code 

Also, the problem with code generators is (if done naively, and it 
usually is) that once you generate your code and try to go in and modify 
it later...then realize your generated code had a bug or you want to 
refactor it, you're basically screwed.  Unless you know exactly what all 
you customized in your generated code, you can't go back and regenerate 
your code and then apply your changes again.  Sure sucks.  Having the 
compiler do this "code generation" work should prevent this scenario. 
But I can't say that with 100% certainty of course.

Yeah, I still enjoy the ':' syntax for compile-time properties because 
it stands out and at the same time doesn't get in the way or look too 
terribly odd.
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