[swift-evolution] multi-line string literals.

Howard Lovatt howard.lovatt at gmail.com
Sat Apr 23 22:31:02 CDT 2016

+1 for Brent's comments

On Sunday, 24 April 2016, Brent Royal-Gordon via swift-evolution <
swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:

> > Instead of creating yet another set of string quotation rules, I would
> prefer copy & pasting the Perl 5 rules :)
> I wouldn't.
> I'm a big fan of Perl. It was my daily driver for many years. I
> participated in the Perl 6 design process, was pumpking for a Parrot (the
> early Perl 6 interpreter) subsystem, and have patches in the Perl 5
> interpreter. I'm fluent in Perl 5's various literal syntaxes. (Actually, a
> piece of syntax I added had to be disambiguated from empty-regex.)
> I've used and appreciated virtually all of Perl's literal syntaxes, but I
> don't think they'd be a good fit for Swift.
> Every language has its own character. Perl's is that it's maximally
> expressive and deeply embraces precedent from other languages, even at the
> cost of making code ambiguous, obscure, or downright ugly. In that context,
> having two quoting mechanisms (q and qq) in three forms ('/", q/qq,
> heredoc) is a great solution, and the lack of indentation handling is not a
> big deal. It fits perfectly into Perl's concept of TMTOWTDI ("there's more
> than one way to do it").
> Swift's character is quite different from Perl's, though. Swift aims to be
> simple and clear, permitting shorthands, omissions, and inferences, but
> usually not outright redundancy. If the language is making something
> difficult, you should enhance an existing construct, not create a new one:
> * Too much junk in a closure declaration? Let people omit inferrable types
> or even parameter names.
> * Immutable collections too slow, mutable ones too dangerous, and having
> both is an ugly compromise? Make them value types, giving you the best of
> both worlds.
> * String and Array are kind of similar, but not really the same? Unite
> them with common protocols. (And if Int indexing is too dangerous for
> Strings, use an associated type to make sure Strings can use a safely
> opaque Index.)
> The huge preponderance of quoting syntaxes in Perl isn't very Swifty, but
> neither is the decision to leave a major style issue (indentation) on the
> table. Swift generally does not tolerate designs that lead to ugly code.
> If I had to create a slogan like TMTOWTDI for Swift, I would probably
> choose "one way, maximally elegant". That's quite a different approach to
> language design, and it calls for a different approach to string literals.
> --
> Brent Royal-Gordon
> Architechies
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-- Howard.
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