[swift-evolution] My personal beef with leading-dot syntax

Dave Abrahams dabrahams at apple.com
Mon Apr 4 13:05:00 CDT 2016

on Mon Apr 04 2016, Erica Sadun <swift-evolution at swift.org> asked:

> Can you ping me off-list or in another thread and explain what the
> issues are?

All of the following make me uncomfortable with our leading-dot thang:

* The rules for lookup don't seem obvious to me.  I admit this is very

* There is some evidence that people think it means something it doesn't
  (“enum case”), as mentioned in SE-0036.  That suggests it is a
  confusing feature.  That confusion may be fairly harmless so far, but

* The dot doesn't seem to buy enough to be worth the complexity it adds
  to the language; why not just let those names be looked up without the
  dot?  You can always disambiguate with full qualification if you have

* Static members generally are too verbose to access from within members
  of a type (`Self.x` doesn't work; you have to write out
  `TheFullTypeName.x`), and leading-dot doesn't give the ability to do
  so. If we're going to have a special syntax for accessing static
  members, it should *at least* solve this problem.


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