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Joseph Wright <[log in to unmask]>
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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 22 Jul 2013 16:10:24 +0100
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On 22/07/2013 09:06, Michiel Helvensteijn wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 9:43 AM, Joseph Wright
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Certainly see a point here, but on the other hand I'm not a fan of
>> encouraging more and more data structures. Writing a full data structure
>> module is non-trivial: in most cases, I'd expect people to be using
>> combinations of the existing ones in an ad-hoc fashion for their purpose.
> That doesn't sound like someone who is creating a programming language. :-)
> Abstraction is the word. There are so many useful data structures out
> there that you haven't even touched upon in the libraries yet. Graphs,
> trees, priority queues, sets, multisets, tables, ... One can never
> predict what a programming language will be used for.

Certainly true, hence waiting with interest to see what Bruno has in
mind about 'objects'.

I was thinking more that if we look at other languages there are a
limited number of data types, and for specialist applications you still
have to use whatever 'base' types are available. Now, we of course
really only have macros and TeX's build-in registers, but if we are
allowed a little leeway then we come to the kernel-defined data types we
already have.

I've no real experience of other languages, though, so perhaps I miss
something. What does one do in say C if the data structures available
are not suitable? (I didn't think you could even add keywords in most
languages, so adding data types seems tricky.)

[BTW, I'd hope expl3 is used for 'typesetting', broadly :-) Bruno may
want to pilot the Mars rover in TeX, but ...]

> If you see a future in expl3 you should expect it to grow, and outside
> developers to be a part of that. If you don't provide these kinds of
> facilities, others will. That's the nature of TeX. Just look at
> etoolbox, etc. Being more flexible will probably give you more control
> in the long run.

Grow certainly, but the question is at least in part whether that's at
the programmers tools side or on the real business of TeX: typesetting
and appropriate tools.
Joseph Wright