discussion Digest, Vol 45, Issue 18
thebeez at xs4all.nl
Fri Oct 25 13:04:33 EDT 2013
On Friday 25 October 2013, discussion-request at lists.en.qi-hardware.com wrote:
> Actually, Werner wrote quite a bit about how the parenthesis can hide
> errors (or worse, malicious code).
> > It is also a sign that the programmer has no intention to use my
> > ignorance in order to install a backdoor.
> So this seems a direct contradiction. ;-) The code he quoted actually
> was an attempt at doing just that, and it only worked because of the
IMHO it's not the parenthesis, but the == operator. Using = instead of e.g. :=
is just too easily overlooked, since comparison using = is SO NATURAL. It's
just like != is not as easy to understand as <>. It simply doesn't "catch
Therefore, when I started C, I used things like EQ, LT, GT instead (long live
the preprocessor). Added to that is the problem that a comparison is not
obligatory in C.
Finally, C's strength is also it's weakness. It's cool you can "chain" a
million instructions into one statement, but this is one of the consequences.
Pascal enforces more structure, but can be tedious (and boring) in some
In short: I concur where the problems are concerned, but I don't think
eliminating parenthesis is the solution. It's far more fundamental.
I remember Ritchie saying: "yes, I made errors when designing Unix. I should
have named "umount" "unmount"". I think = and == fall into the same
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