"C" wish list.

Peter da Silva peter at graffiti.UUCP
Mon Oct 21 13:43:47 AEST 1985

Since the current arguments seem to have broken down, how about something new:
what features would you add to 'C' if you were god or some other moral
equivalent of Dennis Ritchie?

Here are some wishes that the recent discussions have woken in me:

	1. Extend the syntax of bit-feilds to ordinary numbers:

		int x:16; /* x is of type int and at least 16 bits long */
		typedef int int16:16; /* :-> */

	2. Allow auto aggregate initialisations:

		Why not? If you can pass structures this can hardly be
		considered horridly inefficient.

	3. Allow constant aggregates:

		Currently only strings can be used this way, but wouldn't it
		be nice to be able to say ioctl(2, TIOCSETC, {...});? Or to
		combine execv and execl as exec(name, {args})? BCPL
		allowed this, and I miss it.

	4. Allow true block structuring:

		outs(s) char*s; {
			outc(c) char c; {...}
			tputs(s, outc);

	5. Add some real programmability to cpp.

		I still haven't been able to write an assert() that satisfies
		me... If you allowed '#foo' at other places than the beginning
		of lines, and made it evaluate constant expressions. Maybe a #{
		and #} instead of using backslash escapes for long lines...

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