David A. Black schrieb:
> With the leading dot thing, it's an exception
> (or a new rule), not a style choice by the programmer. It *will* be a
> style choice, if it stays in the language; but making it possible in
> the language involves a change to the line-parsing rules themselves.

That's clear. It means that Ruby added the rule "if a
line starts with an infix operator ('.', ',' are in
fact infix operators) it will be the continuation of
the last line" to the existing "a statemant ends with
the end of a line, except a continuation is explicitly
required by an infix operator" rule.

If there are no technical problems (irb?), it doesn't
make the parsing process to complicated, it is wanted by
several user (I assume), and Matz agrees - where is the
general problem? - Nobody is enforced to use it, if (s)he
doesn't want to use it.

When I have to work with a Ruby source written by a third
person, it adds only a minor additional syntactical rule
I have to care about. Ruby still allows a lot of different
styles - I have sometimes some minor problems with programs
that always don't use parenthesis for method arguments,
because this is not my style, others may have problems
reading my dot-chains - but that's Ruby.

My original mother tongue was Algol60 where spacing and lines
didn't play any rule at all. Fortran-IV came close to this,
because spaces had no syntactical meaning, PL/I had no
keywords ("if if=then then then; else else;" was correct PL/I).
This did lead to several styles, but the programs were
understandable too. I don't see there severe problems to
understand Ruby programs where the new rules will be used.

I don't know if I will ever use the new possibilities when
writing Ruby programs, but I don't see problems to understand
programs written by other persons, which use these constructs -
if I may have problems, than these problems will not be based
on the syntax variant used in the program.

At the end of this mail I can only state, if several persons
want the additional syntax variant, if Matz agrees, if there
are no severe technical problems - why not include it into Ruby?

Wolfgang NĂ¡dasi-Donner