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2 points by akkartik 5404 days ago | link | parent

One point everybody else is missing: since arc explicitly makes no claims of backwards compatibility, the notion of a spec is meaningless.

If the goal of a language is to be readable there's nothing wrong in the implementation being the spec. Consider it a form of self-hosting, or of eating your own dogfood.

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An implementation in a reasonably high-level declarative language is a more reasonable 'spec' than one in C. More features are amenable to checking just by reading rather than by execution.

When something is obviously a bug it doesn't matter if it's a bug in the spec or the implementation.

Those two categories -- obvious bugs, and questions about what is or is not in the language that should be answered by reading the code rather than executing it -- seem to cover all the objections people have raised.



1 point by shiro 5404 days ago | link

At least I'm talking about the attitude of spec-by-source in general, not particularly about Arc, FYI.

Edit: I agree that more abstract, declarative language is closer to spec-by-source. If somebody says Prelude.hs is the spec of Haskell's standard library I agree. But the core language semantics is still not in Haskell itself, is it? (I'm still learning. Correct me if I'm wrong.)

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1 point by almkglor 5404 days ago | link

Right. And nobody needs comments in source code, ever.

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1 point by akkartik 5404 days ago | link

What!?

FWIW, here's how I think comments in source code can be improved, especially in exploratory programming: http://akkartik.name/codelog.html

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1 point by almkglor 5404 days ago | link

Oh come on. What are comments but prose descriptions of the code?

Anyway please reparse my post with <sarcastic>...</sarcastic> around it.

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1 point by akkartik 5404 days ago | link

I did get the sarcasm, but not how you extrapolate from my comment.

"There's nothing wrong with a code spec in this case" != "prose specs suck"

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1 point by almkglor 5403 days ago | link

Hmm. Must be a bug in my reader ^^

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