On Tue, 19 Jul 2005, David A. Black wrote:

> Hi --
>
> On Tue, 19 Jul 2005, Ara.T.Howard wrote:
>
>> which just reads quite nicely without parens and last, but not least, those 
>> of
>> us who've detest any extra chars in code like '$', ';', and even parens. 
>> they
>> don't call it 'poetry' mode for nothing ;-)
>
> Actually, they do :-)  This came up on IRC recently, and I still don't
> know the answer: why is the non-use of parentheses referred to as
> "poetry mode", when plenty of poems contain parentheses?  It's never
> made any sense to me.

parens, in ruby anyhow, don't do anything except specify precendence to the
interpreter - much as in mathematics.  imagine if we all wrote (in hand on
paper - not in code)

   a = (b + (c / 2))

it would be all line noise.  i think the 'poetry' bit makes sense since poetry,
when compared to 'normal' writing is clearly an attempt to distill an ideal,
feeling, emotion, etc. into a few select words arranged to maximize there
meaning - and yet leave room for interpretation.  punctuation is for clarity
where it is needed but obfusicates otherwise (as the example above shows i
think).  in this sense using minimal (not none!) punctuation seems congruent
with the idea of writing poetry - at least to me.  consider:

   My legacy -
   What will it be?
   Flowers in spring,
   The cuckoo in summer,
   And the crimson maples
   Of autumn ...

or

   My legacy -
   What will it be?
   Flowers in spring,
   The cuckoo in summer,
   And the crimson maples (Of autumn).

     -   Ryokan   (1758-1831)

kind regards.

-a
-- 
===============================================================================
| email :: ara [dot] t [dot] howard [at] noaa [dot] gov
| phone :: 303.497.6469
| My religion is very simple.  My religion is kindness.
| --Tenzin Gyatso
===============================================================================