Multiple character 'character co - (nf)

preece at uicsl.UUCP preece at uicsl.UUCP
Thu Oct 20 14:03:26 AEST 1983

uicsl!preece    Oct 13 12:50:00 1983

	I didn't really understand why multi-character constants would be
	useful in the example given in the original article.  (I admit
	that I didn't try very hard.)  I would never use a
	machine-dependent "feature" like that.  Portability is a very
	important issue.
The use of multi-character constants is not necessarily non-portable.
Remember, while you may work on multiple machines, your program only has
to work on one machine at a time. So it can use multi-character constants
IN CERTAIN WAYS and presume that they will work just fine. This generally
excludes, however, cases where the constants are compared to something
constructed by the program, as opposed to something constructed by
the compiler, since the construction process would be machine dependent.
This excludes most uses I can think of, but might allow some in which the
multi-character constants were used for clarity.  That is, you cannot
read several characters in and expect to compare them to a multiple
character constant, but you could use multi-character constants for
internal state designators.

I wouldn't say it's a good idea to do this, though, just that it's not
necessarily impossible.

scott preece

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