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Re: pragmas [Was: Re: another take on hackers and painters]

At 1:10 PM -0700 5/23/03, Michael Vanier wrote:
>Good to know ;-)
>I think much of the prejudice against perl has to do with people (like me)
>who only used it way back when there weren't a lot of the current options.
>Perl seems to win the prize as the language with the most pragmas, by which
>I mean language-altering special statements (maybe there is a better word
>for this).  You got yer "use strict", "use warnings", etc. etc.
>How do people feel about this feature in general?  I personally
>like the idea of pragmas if there is no other way to get the same
>flexibility, although I would probably have set the defaults differently
>than perl's are set ;-)

I don't like directives that alter the semantics of
the thing being compiled.  It's hidden global state
that makes it harder to understand the program.  You
can't just look at part of the program to ascertain
that something somewhere else changed the rules.

I understand that this is the *lightweight* languages
discussion group, but I still think it's good to retain
solid, scalable "engineering" practices (for lack of
a better word) even in lightweight languages.  I would
say that it's better to have a single semantics for
the language and throw out as many knobs as possible.