[Oberon] Trivialising formality considered harmful

easlab at absamail.co.za easlab at absamail.co.za
Tue Mar 14 12:29:10 CET 2006

A recent observation/complaint that the suggested identifyer formats
was ignored, was mostly trivialised. 

Some ideas on the RFCs system idea:
Only by making and obeying agreed rules/standards can 
geopgraphically  dispersed collaborators make combined progress.
ETH oberon seems already to have passed the stage when the loss by
entropy exceeds the new value added - the added contributions are
matched by the 'evaporation' losses of the contents-bowl.

The only way to advance is to delegate the initial decisions [eg. the
syntax of identifiers- uppercase..start-char ...etc.] to agreed rules,
to free-up mental creativety for REAL decisions.    Idealy these
initial [now trivial] decisions would be captured and frozen, the way
the language is frozen in the compiler. No possiblilty to mess with it
in the name of artistic licence !

The progress from: 
-  codeing in binary with switches,
-  codeing in hex with papertape,
-  codeing in assembler,
-  codeing in a strongly typed language[s]
should not end there.

The decision [artistic licence which creates chaos] of ID formats
should be removed, and frozen into the language system.

One step towards this is to first have a well considered 
recommendation - which apparently is already the case ?

And to have this followed/tested for a [certain] time/volume.
Of course this strong-typing/restricted-format is consistent with
the Wirthian minimalist approach.

I've noted [perhaps wrongly] that for N-O fileIDs, the format
'Name.Extension' is inappropriate - probably being a [now 
inapplicable] copy from some previous OS.
'NameExtension' seems better, especially since it avoids confusion 
with syntax which MUST use the "." [period] and can avoid 
unintentional 'Module.Command' execution.

IMO the increase in reduntant text formats is a curse:
 html, Word, *.ps, *.pdf ...etc. where plain text is adequate;
 and 'a^8099', 'ç', ' &ldquo' ...etc. for single/double quotes.

== Chris Glur.

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