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[eiffel-nice-library] Re: Vote on changing infix "+" to infix "&" in STRING

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  • Don Ryan
    Hope it s legal to comment on a vote that s already underway. It strikes me that the original premise for the change is flawed. The post stated that the symbol
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 4, 1999
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      Hope it's legal to comment on a vote that's already underway. It strikes
      me that the original premise for the change is flawed. The post stated
      that the symbol & is:

      ...
      already used in typography to associate two sentences, like in
      "David & Goliath"
      ...

      I would disagree. The symbol is not generally used to associate two
      sentences. It is used as a single-character abbreviation for the word
      "and" which is as much a part of the single sentence in which it appears
      as any other word. (Or in programming terms, it's used as a component of
      a string.)

      Furthermore, although it's not always possible, it's a good idea if code
      can be verbalised in a way that's understandable, so that it's possible
      to converse about it when away from a computer. (People may not feel
      this is a priority but it's certainly convenient in education for
      dealing with "questions on the corridor".) When people see the symbol &,
      they read it as "and" (I've only ever heard "ampersand" in the context
      of typography or graphic design). So for a string expression like:

      "Competitors " & last & " and " & second_last & " have been eliminated"

      I see "and and and" in the middle which I find a bit irksome. You could
      argue that + " plus " + could also arise but I think that would be
      extremely rare in comparison, as "plus" is rarely used in it's
      spelled-out version. Basically, as the word "and" is undoubtedly one of
      the most frequently-used words in a string, I think the new operator
      would make concatenated strings confusing to read (especially aloud).

      Just an initial thought that I'm not particularly convinced of yet (but
      better to fire it off now rather than wait till the voting is over). I
      also haven't thought about the benefits of being able to put a
      previously unused operator in class GENERAL, which wouldn't get
      entangled with infix "+" for numerics.

      Don Ryan.
    • Durchholz, Joachim
      ... This is a minor problem IMHO. In everyday language, and is used instead of plus and there s no problem either, isn t it? Regards, Joachim -- This is a
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 4, 1999
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        > From: Don Ryan [mailto:don.ryan@...]
        >
        > Furthermore, although it's not always possible, it's a good
        > idea if code
        > can be verbalised in a way that's understandable, so that
        > it's possible
        > to converse about it when away from a computer. (People may not feel
        > this is a priority but it's certainly convenient in education for
        > dealing with "questions on the corridor".)

        This is a minor problem IMHO. In everyday language, "and" is used instead of
        "plus" and there's no problem either, isn't it?

        Regards,
        Joachim
        --
        This is a private communication, not a statement from my employer.
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