On Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 4:52 PM, CRPence <crpbottle@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On 21-Oct-2015 10:10 -0500, John Yeung wrote:
From where I'm sitting, it feels like the compilation (of correct
*syntax*) should either (1) always succeed whether or not the file
is found, and if there's a runtime error, so be it; or (2) never
succeed when the file is not found.

While those absolutes might fit, in a /logical/ sense, they tend not to
fit, in a /practical/ sense. Perhaps strangely, most people are
[begrudgingly] joyful when the pre-compiler diagnoses that their reference
is problematic. That although they may have to make changes to their
source, and then issue the pre-compile request again, they usually have
fared better than if they had only learned of the likely failure *after*
they also ran their test suite. In the end, they have saved possibly huge
amounts of time.

Well, on the face of it, all you've said is that "static compile-time
checking can save potentially huge amounts of time". Fine. I don't
think anyone could sensibly argue against that. I wouldn't want to
give that up (given that my code is embedded in RPG). My proposed
behavior (2) *doesn't* give it up. Maybe that wasn't clear.

Maybe I need to state it in different terms: I believe that a missing
reference should be treated roughly the same as a
found-but-assumed-erroneous reference. (So if you want to be
permissive, then be permissive with all references; if you want to be
strict, then be strict with all references.)

I don't see how my proposed behavior (2) is any less practical than
what you've described. Unless you are saying that in practice, missing
references are overwhelmingly NOT errors in real-world code, and that
putting the onus on the programmer to either ensure the reference
exists or explicitly choose a higher GENLVL is somehow unreasonably
onerous.

John Y.

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