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Re: [Axiom-developer] B#

From: Gabriel Dos Reis
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] B#
Date: 21 Nov 2005 20:56:11 +0100

"Bill Page" <address@hidden> writes:


| cast1.c: In function `main':
| cast1.c:10: warning: use of cast expressions as lvalues is
|             deprecated
| float: 0
| --------
| I note that I do get a warning. So this is a feature in the
| language that is changing (deprecated).

No, it is not something in the C language.  As I said in my previous
message, the ISO C rules say it is ill-formed.

The "feature" you're testing and you think is part of C is actually a
(misguided, IMNSHO) GNU extension that we happily removed in recent
versions -- we decided to warn wbout it in preceding releases.

| > | I still think the referenced article is well balanced and
| > | accurate.
| > 
| > I don't think so  If is full of confusion and misunderstanding.
| You have given only one example of something you disagree with

You're very kind in crediting me as author of the example you put
forward :-)

| and at most I might be forced to agree that the author should
| probably have been specific about which version of C he was
| criticizing.

Again, it is not about which version of C being criticed.  That stuff
wasn't part of ISO C90, it isn't part of ISO C99 -- and I'm pretty sure it
wasn't part of K&R C (though my copy of that book is inaccessible at
the moment).

You intended to prove that my previous statement about the core C
semantics was wrong by exhibiting a specifc example.  I'm more 
than willing to accept I'm wrong if before real facts, not examples
based on misunderstanding. 

| The point still stands that many version of C used
| to accept such constructions even if that is no longer true in
| all versions.

I do hope you make a distinction between a *language specification* and
its *implementations* by various incomplete and buggy compilers!

| > Unfortunately, many people take it as a Bible sentence don't
| > go and do a minimum scrutinity as would be required in a
| > scientific setting :-(
| > 
| Maybe some people do, but I do not intend to accept such an
| attitude. I think I have applied much more than "minimum
| scrutiny" to this article. Of course it is difficult to be
| entirely accurate in an article that is intended to be at
| most one or two pages.

Well, don't take it as a personal thing.  My comment was very broad
and was not targetting you specifically.  It upset me you took it

As many years of active involvement in the development of the ISO 
standards for C and C++, and their implementations I've come to the
conclusion that many material out there, either in peer reviewed
journals, conferences or on the web display serious defective
understanding of the languages they are playing down or praising.
That widestreap tribal ritual of playing them down does not help either :-/

| Notice that there is a reference therein also to
| which also criticises the term "strong typing" as being
| ambiguous and quotes well known author Benjamin C. Pierce
| to this effect.

Notice I'm not disputing that the term "strong typing" is ambiguous.
I'm disagreeing with the claims that the C programming language was
supposed to illustrate.

(I know of lot of deficiencies in C -- it is hard not to, when you're
involved in its specification and implementation) but none of the
examples I've so far are illustrative of the claim of "weak typing". 

| Could you provide a reference to a short article that you think
| is less "full of confusion and misunderstanding"?

About C?  The shortest is the ISO C specification :-)


-- Gaby

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