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3 points by rocketnia 2482 days ago | link | parent

  > (def maximin (x) (check x number (apply max (map minimax x))))
  #<procedure: maximin>
  > (def minimax (x) (check x number (apply min (map maximin x))))
  Warning: Oh no, what are you doing?
  > O_O
The proposed changes are backwards-compatible with Arc 3.1, since all they attempt to do is provide sensible defaults for things that presently raise errors.

They're not compatible with Arc programmers who want to get those errors. Not all errors signify places where extensions can roam free. For instance, extending the 'err function itself would be particularly silly. Where and how clearly to draw the line is a matter of opinion, but I think waterhouse and I are both in the "we want errors" camp here. ^^;



3 points by akkartik 2481 days ago | link

As I said before (http://arclanguage.org/item?id=13830), I'm in the camp of "this is probably a bad idea, but let's try it anyway and see where it leads." It's my new resolution: to try harder to not be conservative in trying out design choices with wart: http://arclanguage.org/item?id=13694

I still plan to do 'production' work with wart, so I'm going to try not to go off the deep end. One experiment at a time, try to falsify new changes as fast as possible, etc.

Update: This quote about hedging seems a propos: http://akkartik.name/blog/14251481

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1 point by rocketnia 2481 days ago | link

And I'm making Penknife so I can explore things like this in their own quarantined namespaces where they can coexist with my other experiments in the same program. ^^ I'm not sure if my strategy's any good though; I fear it won't put enough pressure on certain experiments to see what their real strengths are. It kinda banks on the idea that people other than me will use it and apply their own pressure to their own experiments.

A strategy I'm not comfortable with? Is this also hedging? :-p Nah, in this case I'm not also taking any other strategy I'd prefer to succeed. Or is that necessary? Maybe I'm hedging, but not diversified. Probably I'm just in a bad place. :-p

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2 points by akkartik 2469 days ago | link

"I fear it won't put enough pressure on certain experiments to see what their real strengths are. It kinda banks on the idea that people other than me will use it and apply their own pressure to their own experiments."

Even better if you could get others to put pressure on your experiments.

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1 point by rocketnia 2468 days ago | link

"Even better if you could get others to put pressure on your experiments."

Well, that's both sides of the issue I'm talking about. I do want people to put pressure on each other's experiments, but I expect to promote that by reducing the difficulty involved in migrating from one experiment to another. Unfortunately, I expect that'll also make it easier for people not to put any more than a certain amount of pressure on any one experiment.

Or are you talking about my experiments in particular? :)

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1 point by akkartik 2468 days ago | link

No, you understood me right. If you make it too easy to fragment the language the eyeballs on any subsurface get stretched mighty thin.

This might actually be one reason lisp has fragmented: it's too easy to implement and fork, and so it has forked again and again since the day it was implemented. Suddenly ruby's brittle, hacky, error-prone parser becomes an asset rather than a liability. It's too hard to change (all those cases where you can drop parens or curlies at the end of a function call), and it keeps the language from forking.

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2 points by evanrmurphy 2468 days ago | link

Upvoted for the new quoting style. I think double quotes + italics is a winner for news.arc forums. (I usually do a right angle bracket + italics, but I like the way yours looks better.)

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1 point by evanrmurphy 2482 days ago | link

  > O_O
Yeah, that particular warning system I was sketching out gives false positives. It would need to be refined.

> They're not compatible with Arc programmers who want to get those errors. Not all errors signify places where extensions can roam free.

Thanks for reminding that errors are sometimes desirable. I just think we're missing out on such valuable real estate here!

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