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2 points by digitalis_ 430 days ago | link | parent

Thing is...this is about as verbose as you can get!

If a name's already good, you're not going to change it; if it's bad, you should push that change upstream! (If the name's bad, it's likely that the original author didn't put much time into choosing the name, so I think it would be fairly straightforward to get that merged.)

[As much as I love this idea of implicit importing, I'm sure the explicit side -- which'll let you change whatever names you like -- will need to be there as well. So we can all chill.]



3 points by rocketnia 430 days ago | link

Quality of a name is relative to a purpose. The more public we go, the more meanings compete for a single name, making us resort to jargon. If a language really only uses homogenous intensional equality, being able to call it = is a relief. If someone wants to build a side-by-side comparison of several versions of an extension, they might prefer for some of the names to be different in every version while others stay the same.

But it's not just names per se. In that side-by-side comparison, they might also want to merge and branch parts of the code whose assumed invariants have now changed; invariants can act as Schelling points, like invisible names. Modifying code is something we do sometimes, and I think akkartik wants to see how much simplicity we'll get if everyone who wants a simpler system has the tooling support to modify the code and make it simpler themselves.

Personally, I find it fascinating how to design a language for multiple people to edit the code at the same time, a use case that can singlehandedly justify information hiding, modules, and versioning. But I think existing module systems enforce information hiding even more than they have to, so that in the cases where people do need to invade that hidden information, they face unnecessary difficulties. I think a good module system will support akkartik's way of pursuing simplicity.

But... my module system ideas aren't finished. At a high level:

- You can invade implementation details you already know. You can prove this by having their entire code as a first-class value with the expected hash.

- You can invade implementation details if you can authorize yourself as their author.

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2 points by akkartik 430 days ago | link

"If a name's already good, you're not going to change it; if it's bad, you should push that change upstream! (If the name's bad, it's likely that the original author didn't put much time into choosing the name, so I think it would be fairly straightforward to get that merged.)"

Not necessarily. 'Good' and 'bad' are not absolute, they are extremely contextual. A name that is good for a general-use library might be sub-optimal for your application, or vice versa. Subjective taste is also a thing. So while you should certainly send out a pull request for the change, our model of the world shouldn't rely on the change actually getting pushed.

In general it is amazing to me how often a blindingly obvious Pull Request gets rejected or just sits in the queue, untouched. There's lots of different kinds of people out there. Which is why I tend to think more like a barbarian[1] about collaboration: think of other people as islands with whom you might collaborate if the stars align. But don't rely on the collaboration. Be self-sufficient.

[1] http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2011/03/10/the-return-of-the-barba...

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"As much as I love this idea of implicit importing, I'm sure the explicit side -- which'll let you change whatever names you like -- will need to be there as well."

I actually interpreted your original post that kicked off this thread as implicit loading since Arc has no notion of modules or import. So the question of changing names did not arise. That seemed like a tangent to the original question.

These seem like separate questions:

1. Should Arc know how to react with implicit symbols?

2. Should Arc provide namespaces?

One the one hand, you can have implicit loading without needing a module/namespace system. On the other hand, I don't see how you can have implicit loading in the presence of namespaces. Without the "from..as" construct how would your system know which library to load a symbol from, if there's a collision?

Summary: even if you have namespaces, you're still going to be doing your own collision-detection if you want implicit loading. What's the point of a module system then?

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