Using '@' to mark pass-by-reference (was Re: synonyms)

Mark Waddingham mark at
Fri Aug 18 09:48:49 EDT 2017

On 2017-08-18 15:21, Mike Kerner via use-livecode wrote:
> So how about trying to make it a little easier to read, and using "->"
> instead (a 4D way of identifying pointers)?  The position of the symbol
> indicates if we have are referencing or dereferencing.  ->a is a 
> reference
> to a (pointer to a), and a-> is dereferencing a (give me what a is 
> pointing
> to).

Two reasons not to:

   1) By-Reference parameters are not the same as pointers - in 
particular, dereferencing is implicit, and referencing is only allowed 
in the context of passing the parameter.

   2) We already have a symbol '@' for marking by-ref parameters in 
handler signatures, so surely it makes more sense to use that in its 
directly equivalent position (on sending, as well as receiving).

General references (I don't think using the term 'pointer' is 
appropriate) are a whole different kettle of fish which come with 
dragons waiting to eat you all over the place...

Warmest Regards,


Mark Waddingham ~ mark at ~
LiveCode: Everyone can create apps

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