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Re: What most languages miss (whitespace)

On Tuesday 01 April 2003 09:37 am, Kevin Kelleher wrote:
> This from Slashdot:
> http://compsoc.dur.ac.uk/whitespace/index.php
> Whitespace programming language:
> "Most modern programming languages do not consider white space
> characters (spaces, tabs and newlines) syntax, ignoring them, as if they
> weren't there. We consider this to be a gross injustice to these perfectly
> friendly members of the character set. Should they be ignored, just
> because they are invisible? Whitespace is a language that seeks to redress
> the balance. Any non whitespace characters are ignored; only spaces, tabs
> and newlines are considered syntax."

UNIX' "make" syntax being a notable exception.

Dimly, through the mist of memory, I seem to remember the homebrew BBN
editor named "pen" that (silently) converted tabs into spaces wreaking
havoc with Makefiles.  I believe the "fix" (and I use the term
loosely) was to change the BBN "make" program to be more clever
(context-sensitive) about its interpretation of 8 consecutive spaces.

You can imagine the chaos that ensued when either porting applications
or editing via NFS.

I feel I must add that this is not an April Fools joke.


==== John Morrison
==== MAK Technologies Inc.
==== 185 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge, MA 02138
==== http://www.mak.com/
==== vox:617-876-8085 x115
==== fax:617-876-9208
==== jm@mak.com