(j3.2006) Public Comment J32034
Wed Jul 16 14:34:00 EDT 2008
On Wed, 2008-07-16 at 11:55 -0600, Jim Giles wrote:
> As for allowing declarations inside every block (instead of only
> every BLOCK), take a look at the languages that have always
> permitted that. In C, programmers have always been allowed
> to write declarations inside any "compound statement", not
> just the one forming the body of a procedure. I've only met
> one C programmer that did so extensively. His colleagues
> cursed him for it. I've met long-time C programmers that
> didn't even remember that such declarations were permitted:
> not only didn't they use the feature themselves, but they almost
> never saw in code from other sources.
> Given the rarity of use of the feature, even when allowed, it's
> a good idea to call attention to nested declarations by making it
> a separate construct. So, BLOCK is better than letting the
> declarations just go anywhere.
The problem in C (there's only one?) is that blocks are nearly
My friends who have written volumes of Ada code (e.g. the 1/3 million
lines in orbit around Saturn) find declarations within nested blocks to
Declaration within nested blocks arises from the Algol tradition.
Fortran has been consistently moving in the direction of a higher-order
language. C was designed to be a PDP/11 (or was it 3B?) assembler, and
it still is. Should we really be seeking guidance there?
Van Snyder | What fraction of Americans believe
Van.Snyder at jpl.nasa.gov | Wrestling is real and NASA is fake?
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