Lars Hellström <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > [...] > You conspicuously omit programming languages, which I would put as a > forerunner of spreadsheets (the less about said, the better), and > probably also of modern calculators that attempt to display > formulae. So it probably all boils down to "because that's how it was > in FORTRAN" (which, if memory serves, ignored spaces). not entirely. originally designed for programmers writing programs on cards, and had fixed layout (which card punches could be set up for). iirc (it's a long time) cols 1-5 label number or blank col 6 continuation mark or blank col 7+ programming statement (optionally continued on next card, as signified by the continuation mark) that's what the spec said (modulo my feeble memory). the compiler i learned with (written by the guy who lectured us on the language) had some relaxation of the rules. iirc, column 1 blank->code, lines not restricted to 80 chars long. the _real_ programming language[*] that ignores spaces, is dna. robin [*] note that i don't claim that fortran isn't real... surreal would be nearer the mark.