SUMMARY: Oberon-2. What is next? 
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 SUMMARY: Oberon-2. What is next?

Phil Scadden (I think) writes:

> My shot at M2 minimalists ("Wirth's libraries are all
> the standard we need, get TRANSFER out of the language cos its too untidy
> etc) really concerned exception-handlers. Standard way is hook an interupt
> handler to the exception-interupt since thats how most machines handle them.
> However, this is NOT portable across machine architectures in the way ADA code
> is. The M2 minimalist call on this is that NO ONE needs exceptions - you

I'll take a shot at answering for the minimalists.  I have no problem
with adding exceptions into Modula-2 but at its timing and method.
First:  the charter for an initial standardization of a language is to
codify the present state-of-the-practice and make changes/extensions
only where there are clear errors or omissions.  I do not believe that
exceptions are a clear omission.  Second: Before any major extension can
be considered, it should have been implemented, used on real problems,
and extensively tested.  What looks good in theory may lead to a can of
worms in practice - both in implementation and in use.  Third:  Any
extension should be incorporated orthogonally into the language, not
added as an appendage.  This is REAL difficult but is necessary to keep
the language from descending into a set of isolated features.

AFTER the base language has been standardized, then a (the) committee
can tackle extending it.  Pascal was able to do its standardization in
these two steps but not without struggle to keep the first committee
from adding features.  Modula-2 has not.  If the minimalists had been
heard, I believe that base-Modula-2 with standard minimal libraries
could have been in place two or more years ago.  Instead we have the war
between the traditionalists and the modernists which threatens to leave
us with no standard.  I am also afraid achieving a standard is now moot
because the window for Modula-2 to become a major commercial language
has passed.

(* Flames accepted *)

Tue, 06 Sep 1994 21:08:04 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

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