[Haskell-cafe] Indentation woes

Dougal Stanton ithika at gmail.com
Fri Jul 27 04:01:35 EDT 2007

On 27/07/07, anon <individu at gmail.com> wrote:

> I see what you did there. But you really might as well end sentences
> with prepositions. Or begin them with conjunction. Or indent your code
> whichever way seems most natural and elegant because to do otherwise
> is just prescriptivism for its own sake.

Natural and artificial languages cannot be compared on this level.
Programming languages, and Haskell in particular, are nearly entirely
prescriptive. In fact, if I remember rightly Haskell was originally
intended to be more prescriptive than most. It certainly has fewer
"nasal demon" clauses in the Haskell Report. This differs a great deal
from English, for example, which underwent a slow and undirected
evolution (unless there was an English Committee in 1550 set up to
decide the Great Vowel Problem...) from various parent languages,
themselves not designed either.

If you would *like* to use an arbitrary indentation I think unsugared
Haskell should allow that. Though it seems rather an uncomfortable
hair-shirt to wear for such little reward.



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