[Haskell-cafe] GHC Extension Proposal: ArgumentBlock

Sven Panne svenpanne at gmail.com
Sun Sep 6 15:24:52 UTC 2015

2015-09-06 14:34 GMT+02:00 Oliver Charles <ollie at ocharles.org.uk>:

> People saying "it just saves a character" seems to have completely missed
> my point and source code readability/refactoring options from a tool's
> perspective. It does more than save a character.

Could you elaborate on the "refactoring options"? I don't fully understand
why requiring $ makes things *more* complicated for a tool. It seems to me
that introducing another irregularity (leaving out $) makes a tool's life
harder, not easier.

Regarding readability: This is a totally subjective thing, e.g. for me all
the examples without the $ look really, really horrible and confusing. To
me, the $ is a strong visual clue for "here comes an argument" which is
lost under the proposal. The point that there is no possible valid parse
without it is irrelevant IMHO: Programs are mainly meant to be read by
humans, not computers. Try parsing

  foo bar do baz boo do skooby doo

visually and compare that to the version with $.

Furthermore, I fully agree with others that introducing another syntactic
irregularity is bad from an aesthetic point of view. To make things worse,
the irregularity itself is itself, well, irregular by leaving out

And finally: There seems to be a trend recently to propose minor syntactic
"improvements". If they would be implemented, different people would pick
different subsets of these, effectively creating tons of dialects and
fragmenting the language.

In a nutshell: -1
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