[REBOL] Re: Zebol (was ordinal cardinal)..
From: joel::neely::fedex::com at: 9-Jul-2001 11:56
Jeff Kreis wrote:
> Howdy, Joel:
> > It is, of course, much simpler simply to do without
> > features that affect the global state. Just imagine the
> > chaos that could ensue if, for example, we allowed a
> > function to change the current directory, close a file, or
> > modify a global variable... The mind boggles! ;-)
> It's essentially "critical section" code, and would make
> programming REBOL Z-based like programming a device driver,
> not very appropriately equated in consequences to:
> "change the current directory, close a file, or modify a
> global variable..."
Bearing in mind the role that exaggeration and sarcasm has had
in the discussion, I had thought that the ";-)" suffix would
serve as an adequate indicator that I wasn't totally serious.
(I seem to recall someone posting a message that exaggerated
a discussion of indexing bases into a proposal for fully
parenthesized expressions and mandating Polish postfix...
Surely we're all entitled to *some* amount of humor? ;-)
However, I *will* say that the kinds of bugs that arise from the
so-called "side effects" of massaging global data or state are
so well documented that we're really talking about a quantitative
difference rather than a qualitative one -- the main question is
how much risk one is willing to take.
As a horrible example of this problem gone to seed, I recall a
database language from a few years ago that had quite a number
of global variables that affected the behavior of several
language constructs. Even worse (fatally IMHO) it was missing
any means to *read* some of them, which meant that it was
practically infeasible to write well-mannered routines that would
save the state, do whatever, and then restore the state.
Truly a nightmare!
> But, as you say, you're not arguing for a global Z setting --
> so that's neither here nor there.. (-:
One is the loneliest number...
- Three Dog Night