Comment On Elegant Syntax Error

At some point, you've probably thought to yourself "I'd love to write some code, but the keywords in my language of choice are just so pedestrian." Your vocabulary is more embiggoned than that of your colleagues. While they're content with DROPping a database object, you'd prefer to efface it. A contractor that Charles I.'s worked with was one of these elite. [expand full text]
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Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:01 • by Shambo (unregistered)
where is the spec?

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:05 • by FredSaw
Whilst you are posting these things before 7:00 AM (central time), how am I ever going to be fist?

Answer: plan to stay home sick, and log on here instead of getting dressed. Whilst I do this, I may at least be fecund, if not fist.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:08 • by Belcat (unregistered)
"clever"? Those words should be in quotes.
Building things that aren't obvious to maintain and stupid extensions to the language... Just stupid.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:10 • by streetpc (unregistered)
173190 in reply to 173189
#define clever wtf

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:11 • by FredSaw
173191 in reply to 173189
Belcat:
"clever"? Those words should be in quotes.
Building things that aren't obvious to maintain and stupid extensions to the language... Just stupid.
Don't be so hard on him. He was clearly an English major with a CS minor. He probably should have been writing technical documentation rather than code.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:13 • by krupa (unregistered)
Who the hell ever says "whilst"?

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:13 • by joe (unregistered)
Looks like an easy trick to keep a contract... fill the code with stuff that won't work unless a well defined
#define a=b b=a
line appears.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:15 • by Pink Duck (unregistered)
The contractor ought to check into the reasoning behind his decision to use 'whilst' over 'while'. Both are derived from ancient words, 'while' is the older and 'whilst' has mainly dropped out of usage in the US. 'whilst' is usually considered more formal and literary, which is certainly not the point of code. Plus it's an extra letter to type and introduces no benefit other than to a single individual - but of course the contractor needs to maintain his belovéd creations :)

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:17 • by FredSaw
173195 in reply to 173194
Pink Duck:
The contractor ought to check into the reasoning behind his decision to use 'whilst' over 'while'. Both are derived from ancient words, 'while' is the older and 'whilst' has mainly dropped out of usage in the US. 'whilst' is usually considered more formal and literary, which is certainly not the point of code. Plus it's an extra letter to type and introduces no benefit other than to a single individual - but of course the contractor needs to maintain his belovéd creations :)
Sounds similar to the raging will/shall controversy, which of course is enflamed by the King James zealots with their wilt/shalt controversy.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:24 • by John Doe (unregistered)
173196 in reply to 173194
Pink Duck:
Plus it's an extra letter to type

So, how about whil, whi, wh, or w then?

Captcha: dolor, yes it's very painful to have to work with people like those "clever" contractors...

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:27 • by jim (unregistered)
173197 in reply to 173192
I used the word "unbeknownst" in a bug report today. But it was tongue in cheek. (And before you rag me, YOU try saying "unbeknownst" with tongue in cheek.)

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:28 • by A Brit (unregistered)
To be honest being British, these americanisms in programming languages are very annoying. I hate having to spell colour for example, the american way without the u.
C# is full of them in the System namespace such as changing all the S's to Z's (like in Globalisation)

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:28 • by FredSaw
173199 in reply to 173197
jim:
I used the word "unbeknownst" in a bug report today. But it was tongue in cheek. (And before you rag me, YOU try saying "unbeknownst" with tongue in cheek.)
Okay, I was willing. It came out audibly as, "unbenoans(farting noise)".

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:31 • by FredSaw
173200 in reply to 173198
A Brit:
To be honest being British, these americanisms in programming languages are very annoying. I hate having to spell colour for example, the american way without the u.
C# is full of them in the System namespace such as changing all the S's to Z's (like in Globalisation)
Well, you guys were once the empire upon which the sun never set. What happened? Got complacent?

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:37 • by pitchingchris
173202 in reply to 173198
A Brit:
To be honest being British, these americanisms in programming languages are very annoying. I hate having to spell colour for example, the american way without the u.
C# is full of them in the System namespace such as changing all the S's to Z's (like in Globalisation)


What do you expect from a company that is resided in America? If Microsoft was in Spain or England, it would have went differently. Those words have been used that way in America for a long time, prolly one of the few things Microsoft don't own the rights to :)

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:41 • by Ben (unregistered)
173203 in reply to 173200
Careful, the way our economy is going we'll be writing c#++ in chinese.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:41 • by AdT (unregistered)
173204 in reply to 173200
FredSaw:
Well, you guys were once the empire upon which the sun never set. What happened? Got complacent?


They overextended themselves. It can happen to anyone. What was the name of the next country Cheney wants to invade?

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:44 • by FredSaw
173205 in reply to 173202
pitchingchris:
A Brit:
To be honest being British, these americanisms in programming languages are very annoying. I hate having to spell colour for example, the american way without the u.
C# is full of them in the System namespace such as changing all the S's to Z's (like in Globalisation)


What do you expect from a company that is resided in America? If Microsoft was in Spain or England, it would have went differently. Those words have been used that way in America for a long time, prolly one of the few things Microsoft don't own the rights to :)
So found your own rival company, get as big as Microsoft, and change the default language to Spanish. I'm good with it. At least that language doesn't have a million exceptions for every rule.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:46 • by FredSaw
173206 in reply to 173204
AdT:
FredSaw:
Well, you guys were once the empire upon which the sun never set. What happened? Got complacent?


They overextended themselves. It can happen to anyone. What was the name of the next country Cheney wants to invade?
Iran. Please god, let it happen. Maybe if we get our collective ass whipped into submission we (that is, the administration) will get a clue.

Let the record show that I drive around Dallas with a bumper sticker that says, "Save our bill of rights! www.impeachbush.org"

Addendum (2008-01-25 09:13):
Lend your support. Let's kick that asshole out.
Impeach Bush

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:47 • by Rob (unregistered)
173207 in reply to 173200
FredSaw:
A Brit:
To be honest being British, these americanisms in programming languages are very annoying. I hate having to spell colour for example, the american way without the u.
C# is full of them in the System namespace such as changing all the S's to Z's (like in Globalisation)
Well, you guys were once the empire upon which the sun never set. What happened? Got complacent?


World War II

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:49 • by gabba
They should have just refactored the code. while loops are useless anyway. Just use a 'for'.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 08:54 • by AC (unregistered)
That's not a WTF, the guy was simply a jerk.
It certainly was his intention to make a bad joke or something. (As oppossed to the "write Pascal in C" macros)

Captcha: Those are a Latin test now? Bah, need some time to remember this one.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 09:06 • by Shmurk
I forgot which program it was but there was a famous UNIX program (Bash?) that used this kind of trick all over the place, things like:

#define IF(x) if(x) {
#define ENDIF(x) }
#define FOREVER for(;;) {
#define ENDFOREVER }

It's very ugly but not that uncommon, I've seen it in some places, sadly...

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 09:18 • by A Brit (unregistered)
173217 in reply to 173198
A Brit:
To be honest being British, these americanisms in programming languages are very annoying. I hate having to spell colour for example, the american way without the u.
C# is full of them in the System namespace such as changing all the S's to Z's (like in Globalisation)


Yeah I installed Firefox because I couldn't change IE's spelling of favourites

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 09:20 • by Yorch (unregistered)
What's the problem? Clearly this guy is competent, studied and earned his "Works on my machine" certification.
http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000818.html

Gee... give him a break

BTW. Thanks for my free sticker! I got it yesterday and have placed at my work's PC

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 09:25 • by A Yank (unregistered)
173220 in reply to 173198
You obviously don't hate it enough if you haven't tried to fix it. In vi-speak:
:ab colour color

The possibilities are limitless.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 09:26 • by DylanW
Your vocabulary is more embiggoned than that of your colleagues.

I don't see what the problem is. They're perfectly cromulent words.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 09:31 • by nt (unregistered)
173223 in reply to 173194
That's "belovèd".

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 09:36 • by T $
173225 in reply to 173198
A Brit:
To be honest being British, these americanisms in programming languages are very annoying. I hate having to spell colour for example, the american way without the u.
C# is full of them in the System namespace such as changing all the S's to Z's (like in Globalisation)

Referring to colo(u)r both with and without a u are inefficient. Recommend replacing the word colo(u)r with the letter 'X' to save memory.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 09:36 • by nt (unregistered)
173226 in reply to 173214
Shmurk:
I forgot which program it was but there was a famous UNIX program (Bash?) that used this kind of trick all over the place, things like:

#define IF(x) if(x) {
#define ENDIF(x) }
#define FOREVER for(;;) {
#define ENDFOREVER }

It's very ugly but not that uncommon, I've seen it in some places, sadly...


The original (1977) Bourne shell, actually. Here's the source.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 09:46 • by Walleye (unregistered)
173230 in reply to 173192
krupa:
Who the hell ever says "whilst"?


The Great Gonzo from the Muppet show often used it in the phrase "...whilst, and at the same time...".

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 09:46 • by KT (unregistered)
173231 in reply to 173214
Shmurk:
I forgot which program it was but there was a famous UNIX program (Bash?) that used this kind of trick all over the place, things like:

#define IF(x) if(x) {
#define ENDIF(x) }
#define FOREVER for(;;) {
#define ENDFOREVER }

It's very ugly but not that uncommon, I've seen it in some places, sadly...


#define ever (;;)

...

for ever {
printf("%s", "\a");
}

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 09:48 • by MET
173232 in reply to 173207
Rob:
FredSaw:
A Brit:
To be honest being British, these americanisms in programming languages are very annoying. I hate having to spell colour for example, the american way without the u.
C# is full of them in the System namespace such as changing all the S's to Z's (like in Globalisation)
Well, you guys were once the empire upon which the sun never set. What happened? Got complacent?


World War II

Not really. At the end of WWII the British were still in charge of most of the globe. Essentially the people in the colonies persuaded us that it was better not to be in charge any longer, and we gave the empire away. India being the best example. Other countries such as Australia and Canada effectively just weakened the links so that they operated in their own right rather than as part of the empire, a process that I think started well before WWII.
WWII was of course what brought the US to prominence. Before that it was just a sleeping giant.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 09:58 • by Not a Brit (but a Canadian) (unregistered)
173237 in reply to 173198
I understand what that's like, but that's often a library thing. I develop extensively with Ogre3D, which is maintained by non-US folks, so they use Colour. As a Canadian, I use 'our' too, but when programming I snap into a US spelling mindset. I often find myself mixing up the two regardless.

Now, if a language introduced a keyword like "neighbour", that'd probably rile up a bunch of folks.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 10:07 • by EvanED
173239 in reply to 173214
Shmurk:
I forgot which program it was but there was a famous UNIX program (Bash?) that used this kind of trick all over the place, things like:

#define IF(x) if(x) {
#define ENDIF(x) }
#define FOREVER for(;;) {
#define ENDFOREVER }

It's very ugly but not that uncommon, I've seen it in some places, sadly...

I've seen "#define FOREVER for(;;)" a few places; I've even seen it suggested in books. (I think Code Complete may even do so.)

Including the opening brace though... that's a sin.

I'm also reminded of my favorite entry I've seen to the IOCCC. It starts out with a whole ton of #defines for keywords that look like BASIC or Pascal, then a program written in them. Basically the the body of the program loos like it was written in Pascal, with some extra semicolons and other places the syntax isn't quite right. But the C program did something completely different than what the pseudo-Pascal program did. So you look at it and go "oh, that's just someone trying to be clever but not succeeding very well. Wait... oh wait..."

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 10:19 • by A Yank (unregistered)
173247 in reply to 173198
Technically, english from US and UK should be considered two different languages. It might be annoying, but it's not as difficult as trying to figure out that "medarbejder" is danish for co-worker. Thought it was dutch at first, but the dutch translator spits the word right back at me.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 10:24 • by DeLos
173252 in reply to 173204
AdT:
FredSaw:
Well, you guys were once the empire upon which the sun never set. What happened? Got complacent?


They overextended themselves. It can happen to anyone. What was the name of the next country Cheney wants to invade?


Shouldn't we finish the "wars" (what do we call them, missions? Something like that?) we started in Afghanastan (remember that one? We are still there, trying to find Osama) or Iraq?

But hey, what's a few wars as long as the economy is strong and kicking ...

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 10:25 • by Sam (unregistered)
173254 in reply to 173200
FredSaw:
A Brit:
To be honest being British, these americanisms in programming languages are very annoying. I hate having to spell colour for example, the american way without the u.
C# is full of them in the System namespace such as changing all the S's to Z's (like in Globalisation)
Well, you guys were once the empire upon which the sun never set. What happened? Got complacent?


We liberated more countries than the US ever has. To be fair, we did conquer them first, but let history reflect that the UK was the great 20th-century liberator.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 10:25 • by Outlaw Programmer
This story makes much more sense when you realize that Charles I.'s coworker wears a top hat, monocle and handlebar mustache!

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 10:26 • by uggalabugga (unregistered)
Must be a holy cow from India. ;)

luctus

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 10:26 • by Brady Kelly (unregistered)
173259 in reply to 173198
A Brit:
To be honest being British, these americanisms in programming languages are very annoying. I hate having to spell colour for example, the american way without the u.
C# is full of them in the System namespace such as changing all the S's to Z's (like in Globalisation)


I just don't. Intellisense pops 'Color' in for me, and when I name something, I name it Colour. My code is also full of xxxDialogue classes.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 10:26 • by DeLos
173260 in reply to 173247
A Yank:
Technically, english from US and UK should be considered two different languages. It might be annoying, but it's not as difficult as trying to figure out that "medarbejder" is danish for co-worker. Thought it was dutch at first, but the dutch translator spits the word right back at me.


For websites one of the first 'languages' they translate the site to is UK English (from US English). Yup, lots of z's to s's. and the our's.

Must give them a margin of error because if a string goes untranslated, its still readable for the Brits

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 10:37 • by me too (unregistered)
WHYST?!

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 10:38 • by IComp (unregistered)
173266 in reply to 173207
Since this article is submitted by King Charles I, I'd have thought he'd be quite used to 'elegant' pronunciation. Although at his age its a wonder he can handle a computer at all.

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 10:38 • by Jon Hanna (unregistered)
173267 in reply to 173198
We can sort of forgive the S/Z thing, in this regard the Americans are simply more conservative; the Z spellings used to be more common than the S spellings (though both were acceptable) before a vogue for all things French brought made the French-like S spellings more popular. The Oxford English Dictionary still uses the Z spellings (see the commentary on http://www.iana.org/assignments/lang-tags/en-GB-oed for more).

Webster's horrible decision to encourage his compatriots to leave out the U in words like colour is another matter though.

Still, it's resulted in a strange idiolect for myself. "Colour" I think of as colour, reasonably enough, but "color" I think of as "an object or code used to describe a colour in a computer system", i.e green is a colour, but #00FF00 or System.Drawing.Color.FromArgb(0, 0, 0xFF, 0) or so on are colors.

Which may make me seem a bit weird, but then all of us Old-World English-speakers use "program" when it comes to computers, though of course the origin of the spelling is that that is how American's spell programmes (the fact that programs haven't compared well with programmes since the 1950s probably helps).

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 10:45 • by Kiss me I'm Polish
173271 in reply to 173260
DeLos:
Four websites oneth ouf the first 'languages' they traunslateth the site tou is UK English (froum US English). Yup, louts of z's to s's. and the our's.
Must giveth them a maurgin of errour bescause if a stringh goes untraunslated, it's still readaible for the Brits

Here, fixed that for ya

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 10:54 • by Soviut (unregistered)
173275 in reply to 173198
A Brit:
To be honest being British, these americanisms in programming languages are very annoying. I hate having to spell colour for example, the american way without the u.
C# is full of them in the System namespace such as changing all the S's to Z's (like in Globalisation)


I'm Canadian and spell it "colour" with the u as well. But I'd rather languages standardize to "american english" and know to always spell it "color" than to have to guess or check the docs for every single language I use.

(I know captcha quoting is going out of style but this one says: dolor ...weird)

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 10:54 • by Mike Woodhouse (unregistered)
The contractor's name wasn't Mark, was it? Back in the way-back-when I had a guy who used macros to make his C code look like Pascal;

#define begin {
#define end }

and so on...

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 11:00 • by A Yank (unregistered)
173279 in reply to 173220
A Yank:
You obviously don't hate it enough if you haven't tried to fix it. In vi-speak:
:ab colour color

The possibilities are limitless.


Didn't realize someone already made a post with the name A Yank. =P

Re: Elegant Syntax Error

2008-01-25 11:01 • by FredSaw
173280 in reply to 173232
MET:
WWII was of course what brought the US to prominence. Before that it was just a sleeping giant.
We like to think we came to prominence with the Boston tea party and the concept, "No taxation without representation".
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