[rust-dev] Fwd: minor things that annoy you about Rust?

Graydon Hoare graydon at mozilla.com
Thu Dec 22 11:55:11 PST 2011

On 11-12-21 09:10 PM, Joe Groff wrote:

>     1. I support being able to drop mandatory literal type specifiers on
>     values that are within the range of their expected type
>        Related: I'd like contributed source highlighting code for vim,
>     emacs etc. to highlight all literal type specifiers
>        (very long f32, f64 literal constants can be difficult to read
>     otherwise, e.g. -XXXX.YYYYe-Zf32)
> Think also of hex literals (e.g. 0xabcdefi32). Syntax highlighting seems
> like a hack to get around syntax that just plain sucks. If you guys are
> open to changing the literal suffix syntax, the C tradition of magic
> letters may not be theoretically appealing but it would be much more
> ergonomic.

I'm curious how many of the people upset at the literal suffixes know 
the number-literal syntax permits inserting underscores, so you can 
write this as (say):


Which is how I tend to write any suffixed literal that's not a very 
simple one (eg. 0u or such).

The fact is that "being in range" is a fair bit heuristic and the more 
you guess the more likely you are to burn the user. 0xff means -1 as a 
signed octet and 255 as either an unsigned octet *or* a signed integer. 
Unless I sign-extend, which I have to decide whether or not I'm going to 
do when reading "0xff".

Personally I still find the literal suffixes quite comforting and 
preferable to their absence in C, specifically because I have so much 
more mental work to do in C to guess whether-or-when I'm going to be 
accidentally truncating / wrapping / sign-extending etc. due to a 
conversion from the literal-I-said to the number-it-decided-to-use.

I'm really only keen on discussing an alternative that doesn't 
reintroduce the C nightmare of "guess which boundary condition of 2s 
complement arithmetic you're going to burn yourself on today".


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