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Re: [Axiom-developer] help function

From: Waldek Hebisch
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] help function
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 14:57:08 +0200 (CEST)

Martin Rubey wrote:
> I also believe that ")help" is much(!) better than "help".  I believe that it
> does make sense to separate functionality like )help, )display, )show, )lib,
> etc. from algebra functionality.
> If you agree to that the closing parenthesis is in my opinion a very good
> sistinction symbol.  Aldor uses "#" which is very confusing for humans and for
> the compiler.

When I began to use Axiom closing parenthesis looked pointless and
obscure to me.  Now I can see reasons for using closing parenthesis
and I think it is both obscure and ingenious.  It is ingenious
largely because of obscurity -- closing parenthesis at the
beginning of the line rarely conflicts with other uses.  However
it is confusing at least for computer literate people -- we
are trained that parenthesis should always match.  It may
be confusing for programs: once you put system command in 
a file simple editor functions to show matching parenthesis
will behave strangely.

Also, we have at least on bug report where closing parenthesis
is user input is wrongly read as system command.  And there
are subtle differences between input taken from standard
input, input read via read command and Shoe (old Boot and
Spad use the same handler so they should be compatible).

                              Waldek Hebisch

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