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

mvanier@cs.caltech.edu 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?

To me, semantics-altering pragmas feel like a good way to make code 
harder to read.  (And I prefer readability.)  People complain about 
macros making code harder to read.  At least with macros, you can see 
that there's something you have to look for and understand, so you know 
you have to work a little harder to understand new code.  But with 
pragmas, you need to know they're present, and figure out whether they 
matter for any piece of code you're looking at.  Or else you risk 
misunderstanding the code.

I have no problem with "performance" or other semantics-maintaining pragmas.

I'm thinking that the readability vs. writability issue interacts with 
the individual vs. team coding issue.  We haven't discussed 
maintainability, but it interacts with both readability and 
individualism, unless the original individual is still around to 
maintain and has a good memory.