variable xref

Mark Waddingham mark at
Fri Mar 30 12:51:48 EDT 2018

That's pretty much my point of view - the compiler should keep you out of trouble but not get in the way.

Colours are the same case as left in the context of textAlign. If we reserved all lowercase alphabetic identifiers, so your vars had to contain an uppercase letter or non letter character then that would 'solve' that problem at the expense of freedom of the coder. (But only for natural languages which have casing!).

So really what we want is 'reserved in context' - the problem there though is the context - in many cases that can only be known at runtime.

In terms of computers driving cars then we let computers monitor and interpret sensors for humans in nuclear power stations. We let them 'drive' very large aircraft and provide simulated feedback and sensor interpretation there to pilots. Same for trains, trams, vehicles in factories and warehouses... So why not cars? ;)

Although that being said - I do have a slight issue with computers driving cars at this point in time - but only because they have to deal with humans driving cars and those pesky pedestrians with free will...

Warmest Regards,


Sent from my iPhone

> On 30 Mar 2018, at 17:27, Mark Wieder via use-livecode <use-livecode at> wrote:
>> On 03/30/2018 08:56 AM, Mark Waddingham via use-livecode wrote:
>> I'd suggest that the language doesn't matter - so 'natural language like' would perhaps be a better term but even then is that really what we mean?
> A good question to ask here might be "what are the pain points of the language as it now exists?"
> Since I always use strict variable checking I don't have to worry about unquoted literals because the compiler will always give me an error. For me the pain of having to put quotes around literals is muchly offset by the security of having the compiler keep me out of trouble. Mostly. YMMV.
> On the other hand, there are certain keywords that I think really should be constants and not unquoted literals. I find it a pain to have to put quotes around color names. If I want to set a text color to black, I find it awkward to have to set it to "black".
>> So we are perhaps talking about constructing language(s) which allows a computer to be instructed more like we would a human - i.e. not having to define every single thing in mind numbing detail, knowing that the receiver has enough competence and knowledge to infer and fill in the gaps correctly and then carrying out those actions with a high degree of accuracy (although computers are probably already better for accuracy in many domains - they just need their hand held throughout!) or at least have the ability to shout when things really don't 'compute'. In this vein I'm not sure syntax is so important.
> I'm still not ready to have computers drive cars.
> -- 
> Mark Wieder
> ahsoftware at
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