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Re: Bison function argument style

From: Paul Hilfinger
Subject: Re: Bison function argument style
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 18:16:45 -0800

 > >> I noticed that the Bison sources now almost everywhere writes function
 > >> arguments like "f (x)" with extra space between the function name and fir
 > >> argument parenthesis, instead what is correct according to traditional
 > >> typesetting of math "f(x)". Is this a deliberate Bison style and if so,
 > >> what is the reason for choosing it?
 > >
 > >This style is recommended (not required) in the GNU Coding Standards, and i
 > >used, for example, in GCC and in GDB.
 > Well, look into typeset math before say 1980 when the electronic
 > typesetting was not generally available and the stuff was typeset by
 > professionals, and I think you will find that the latter style (without
 > extra space) was used pretty much exclusively.

I wasn't justifying the practice, merely explaining it.  The claim
made in the Coding Standards document was that programs are easier to
read with the space.  You can judge for yourself whether that it true.

The problem with using typeset math as a guide is that typesetters of
mathematical text do not generally use fixed-width roman text,
relatively few mathematical functions take more than one argument
(compared to programs), and vanishingly few function applications
spread over more than one line in mathematical text.  In other words,
it's not immediately obvious that the two contexts are quite as
analogous as you'd like for making your particular argument.


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