typeof - (nf)

jim at ism780b.UUCP jim at ism780b.UUCP
Wed Aug 1 14:23:25 AEST 1984

ism780b!jim    Jul 23 11:12:00 1984

>      Someone said that the standard allows white space before a
> sharp.  I hope this was a misunderstanding, and that explicitly
> allowing white space after a sharp was meant.  Till now people
> have been able to use " #" for tools that manipulate C code,
> secure in the knowledge that C can't use sharps anywhere, and
> the preprocessor can only see them in the first column.  (E.g.
> there is a tool that lets you write end-of-line comments like
> Ratfor instead of ugly /**/ filth.)  This change would break
> those tools.  I can't see what the change is FOR; if you're
> worried about the indentation you can leave the sharp at the
> left margin and indent the keyword.

Unfortunately, the standards committee seems particularly unsavvy about the
preprocessor.  Most of the discussion I have seen in the minutes indicates
that they have never looked at the standard cpp implementation in an attempt
to resolve detailed undocumented semantic questions.  And in this case,
they seem to be completely unaware of or unwilling to consider the fact that
cpp has been used as an external processor independent of C, and that
it even has its own manual page in SysV.  This business about ignoring
whitespace *before* the sharp reminds me of "The Hunting of the Snark",
in which the Bellman, seeing "No one shall speak to the Helmsman" in the
nautical rules, added "and the Helmsman shall speak to no one" as an "obvious"
extension.  This information was provided in a footnote explaining the passage
"the rudder got mixed with the bowsprit sometimes" (the Helmsman was the only
one who knew better).

-- Jim Balter, INTERACTIVE Systems (ima!jim)

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