In article <69f66b790707161046p5c5e494ao7fd524599e5ad1e4 / mail.gmail.com>,
Tim Pease <tim.pease / gmail.com> wrote:
>On 7/16/07, ara.t.howard <ara.t.howard / gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> On Jul 16, 2007, at 7:22 AM, Raphael Gillett wrote:
>>
>> > It is particularly puzzling that Ruby should hobble its
>> > users in this way, because it is manifestly unnecessary (e.g., Fortran
>> > and Pascal don't do it).
>>
>>
>> and we all know how 'natural' *those* languages are do program in
>> (ducks)...
>>
>
>Actually, if Ruby had been implemented in Fortran or Pascal, then most
>certainly arrays would have begun indexing with 1 instead of 0.

Well, if one were to blindly follow one's predecessors, yes - at least
with Fortran.  Pascal lets you determine the array range, so you could
have the option of starting with zero.  And indeed, when we first
encountered that possibility, zero got used a lot.

See, you are assuming that C worked some sort of mind control on poor
weak-willed programmers.  Problem is, it isn't true.  Being forced to
use 1 as the base index was actually a pain - the off-by-one problem
occurred much more often.  And yes, I am old enough to have programmed
professionally in Fortran.  There's a reason we don't use Fortran's
least-favored features anymore, no matter how good it was in numerical
programming, and it's not because of the tyranny of C.

Sorry, real life trumps dogma.

-- 
	-john

February 28 1997: Last day libraries could order catalogue cards
from the Library of Congress.