(j3.2006) Public Comment J32035

Van Snyder Van.Snyder
Tue Jul 15 20:39:51 EDT 2008

On Tue, 2008-07-15 at 18:34 -0600, Jim Giles wrote:
> Aleksandar Donev wrote:
> > On Tuesday 15 July 2008 15:14, Jim Giles wrote:
> > 
> >> I think all of what you want would be better accomodated by
> >> allowing so-called "assumed rank arrays".
> > I proposed this for F2008 [it was called DIMENSION()], and it got
> > rejected :-\ 
> ...
> > I also proposed this (I believe I proposed some kind of attribute for
> > the dummy, like SCALAR, but even I forgot). Again, it got rejected.
> > It may have even been what inspired Malcolm to propose IMPURE, if my
> > memory serves me right. BTW, Van has even proposed your specific
> > syntax "accumulate(shape(a))" [and I supported it very much], but
> > again, it got rejected. 
> > 
> > Anyway, IMPURE did get accepted. It is not perfect nor as good as the
> > above. But it helps ELEMENTAL become more useful (albeit not fully
> > functional). 
> I don't agree that it's a good design practice to accept weak second-best
> features if your real preference is not accepted.  I think that leads to 
> clumsy, verbose, and unnecessarily complex languages.  People will
> correctly abandon them.  In most cases it's better not to get any new
> feature at all than to get a hamstrung, poorly designed, partial subset 
> that also mangles what should be separate features.

If what you get is indeed a subset of what you want, or you can see a
compatible extension of what you get that could provide the same
functionality as what you want, I see no reason not to let the camel's
slippery nose into the sloping tent.

If what you get precludes what you really want, or requires an
incompatible and therefore duplicative feature to get what you want,
then I agree with James that accepting half a loaf might be undesirable.

Van Snyder                    |  What fraction of Americans believe 
Van.Snyder at jpl.nasa.gov       |  Wrestling is real and NASA is fake?
Any alleged opinions are my own and have not been approved or
disapproved by JPL, CalTech, NASA, the President, or anybody else.

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