Requests For Features

C E Macfarlane c.e.macfarlane at
Tue Sep 29 02:27:05 PDT 2015

Please see below ...

> I'm getting a bit off topic, for which I apologize

I'll bring us back OT, at least initially, by quoting and responding to your
points out of original order ...

> I like the way GiA organizes and names files (except for that mildly
annoying "((flashhd))" suffix), but find gip's way of organizing and naming
them ugly.  So I threw together a little Python script [...]

Wouldn't it be easier just to use the --prefix option in GiP?

The rest of this is OT and can be ignored by anyone not interested ...

> it pained me to see Perl and Python tarred with the same brush.  I've
experience in all those languages except COBOL, including the ones you
mention but don't claim experience in -- Pascal and BASIC

Naturally I wouldn't've suggested them without experience of them.

> plus FORTRAN,

A very little.

> Cray Assembler

No experience.

> 6502 Assembler,

Hand assembled a monitor for a CBM/Pet 8096, until I could write an
assembler for it.  Ditto for an Amstrad CPC6128 (Z80).

> and, heck, my very first coding was done in octal machine language on a
very early IBM mini (even if they didn't call it that).

Hex (as above).

> Probably a few others that aren't coming to (increasingly feeble) mind.

BATch, Kix, SQL, VBScript ...  I too am getting forgetful!

> I doubt there's anyone on the planet that would argue against your claim
that Perl is ugly.  While it's possible to write tolerably readable code in
Perl, it is one of the ugliest, least readable languages ever, short of
Whitespace. :)

> Python, by stark contrast, is extremely clean and readable due to its use
of semantically meaningful indentations.

It has some major problems ...

The first you have mentioned as an asset, but said semantically meaningful
indentation has some disadvantages too  -  it is, AFAIAA, unique, and thus
confuses programmers coming from other languages, and it is possible to be
confused by spaces where the rest of the program has been written with tabs,
and vice versa, and such problems can be non-obvious to spot, and further it
is impossible to crunch, though I admit this latter problem can largely be
offset by pre-compilation.

Secondly, particularly to anyone used to more mainstream OOP languages such
as C++ or Java, its object-oriented syntax is just horrible.  I have to look
it up anew every time I want to create an object.

Thirdly, again particularly to anyone used to C or Java, its syntax for
conditional assignment is uniquely weird, and always I have to check that
I've remembered it aright.

Fourthly, there is the confusion between when to use arrays, and when to use
sequences, the confusion of syntax differences between the two, and the
syntax to create arrays is uniquely obscure, to say the least.

Fifthly, its documentation is poor, finding help on any of the above points
may take some time.

I dare say I could find more, but that'll do for an OT post for now ...

> even novice programmers produce mostly readable code in Python, and
seasoned programmers produce code I'd claim is even readable by smart
non-programmers (though I've been programming for so long it's hard to fully
understand that mindset).

Well, it is certainly possible to produce something that works, and quite
possibly something that works very well, for example (-! hopefully, anyway
here's a chance for you to check the readability of my coding !-) ...
... or if anyone prefers just to play a little with the finished article,
try experimenting by adding URL parameters giving British Isles lat/lon
locations (parameter details are given on the Help page which is displayed
by default if either no parameters are given or there is an error in them)
to ...
For example, this will obtain the profile displayed at the bottom of the
first-linked page ...

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