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Re: Improving aesthetics & readability of backquote

From: Paul W. Rankin
Subject: Re: Improving aesthetics & readability of backquote
Date: Mon, 20 May 2019 23:25:13 +1000
User-agent: mu4e 1.2.0; emacs 26.2

On Mon, May 20 2019, Alan Mackenzie wrote:
Add to this the \` is just an alias for backquote, which doesn't imply any meaning except as relation to itself. Its meaning cannot be inferred through the code alone.

Sorry, I can't make anything out of that paragraph. What meaning? What
relation to what?  Which code alone?

The \` symbol is an alias to backquote, and the word "backquote" only describes the symbol, i.e. circular semantics.

I suggest that we could introduce some aliases and augment the reader constucts a little to make them more aesthetically pleasing and more readable.

I don't agree with you that (quote foo) is more readable than 'foo. I would find (quote foo) tiring to write, and (more importantly) tiring to
read.  I believe very early lisps were lacking the ' operator.
(quoteval foo) would be even worse for me.

I'm using "readability" in the sense of reader comprehension, not eyestrain.

If it remains unclear, my suggestion is not to supplant the original syntax; I position this suggestion in a similar vein as the rx library.

But code has to be maintained, and everybody would have to know the meaning of these new aliases, and be practiced with them, to be able to
maintain code using them.

Hence the choice of clear, easily understandable aliases.

I'm afraid I'm against such changes.

I'm proposing an addition, not changes. See the aforementioned rx library; its relationship to regular expression in Emacs Lisp should be instructive.


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