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Author Topic: user report  (Read 4285 times)
gub
Newbie
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Posts: 9


« on: July 20, 2008, 07:56:18 PM »

Hi,

after programming with Zonnon for a while I'd like to share some things I noted:

I quite like the "feel" of the language (it reminds me of Turbo Pascal I used years ago). It doesn't require to type lots of brackets or being careful about how many equal-signs to use in comparisons.

Unfortunately the compiler does not seem to check for unused variables. Not really a problem but something you might be warned about.

It is a little annoying that you are not allowed to "exit" from a "for" or a "while" clause. Using "loop" in these cases does not make the code any clearer. This may have been intentionally left out of the language since (wasn't it left out of Oberon and Modula-2 either?) but it is something I miss nonetheless.

Zonnon builder runs very stable but has some issues as well. The thing I missed most was autoindent while typing. Indent blocks of code later might as well be very useful. The biggest surprise was that aborting a running program (with CTRL+Break or CTRL+C) closed zonnon builder as well.

greetings
gub

« Last Edit: July 20, 2008, 08:08:40 PM by gub » Logged
danp
Newbie
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Posts: 37


« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2008, 08:38:23 PM »

Zonnon builder runs very stable but has some issues as well. The thing I missed most was autoindent while typing. Indent blocks of code later might as well be very useful. The biggest surprise was that aborting a running program (with CTRL+Break or CTRL+C) closed zonnon builder as well.

I complain the same issues, plus some Find/Replace annoyance, and the lose of last cursor position in some circumstances. Unfortunately it is not an ETH target, so we have to maintain it, if we need it (C# sources available). If I will decide to embrace Zonnon for future projects (if it will pass some performance tests as database server) I should like to build an embedded editor written in Zonnon.

Dan
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gub
Newbie
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Posts: 9


« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2008, 05:33:55 PM »

Quote
Unfortunately it is not an ETH target, so we have to maintain it, if we need it (C# sources available).
What exactly is ETHs target for zonnon? Oberon is said to have been intended for internal use by students, whereas Zonnon... ? Apart from the disclaimer displayed by the installer ("Unauthorized dublication or distribution of this program... may result in severe... penalties...") I can not find any information about what we are authorized to do. The compiler for instance has not announced to be available as open source. Is it free of charge for non-educational use?

Quote
...I should like to build an embedded editor written in Zonnon
Great idea - only this may turn out to be quit time consuming. Certainly I would be excited to see an embedded editor or an integration for an open source platform (e. g. SharpDevelop), but personally I might rather try creating a syntax highlighting scheme for GVIM than writing (another) programming editor / environment from scratch. This may seem like a lazy attitude but in the end I'm doing this just for leisure.

greetings
gub

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danp
Newbie
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Posts: 37


« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2008, 12:17:51 PM »

Quote
What exactly is ETHs target for zonnon? Oberon is said to have been intended for internal use by students, whereas Zonnon... ? Apart from the disclaimer displayed by the installer ("Unauthorized dublication or distribution of this program... may result in severe... penalties...") I can not find any information about what we are authorized to do. The compiler for instance has not announced to be available as open source. Is it free of charge for non-educational use?

It should be better to open a dedicated post for the Zonnon license, and wait for an official answer from the ETH team. But I don't care very much if the compiler sources will be available or not, because I don't intend to modify it, did you?

Dan
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cfbsoftware
Full Member
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Posts: 106


WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2008, 03:41:44 AM »

It is a little annoying that you are not allowed to "exit" from a "for" or a "while" clause. Using "loop" in these cases does not make the code any clearer. This may have been intentionally left out of the language since (wasn't it left out of Oberon and Modula-2 either?) but it is something I miss nonetheless.
Actually, it may be more accurate to say that EXIT was not introduced into FOR, WHILE and REPEAT statements in Modula-2 and Oberon (and Zonnon) rather than it was left out. Mid-loop exits (other than the infamous GOTO) didn't exist in standard Pascal either.  If you are interested in the reasoning behind this, refer to:

'On the Composition of Well-Structured Programs'. ACM Computing Surveys, Vol. 6, No. 4, December 1974. Niklaus Wirth, ETH Zurich. 
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Chris Burrows
Astrobe v6.0 (Jun 2016): Oberon for ARM Cortex-M4 and Cortex-M3 Microcontrollers
http://www.astrobe.com
gub
Newbie
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Posts: 9


« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2008, 09:26:47 AM »

@danp: What I intended to hint at was not a desire to modify the compiler sources but rather the risks
of a business venture with a tool at uncertain conditions of use.

@cfbsoftware: Thanks for the hint. Two passages were particularly helpfull:

Quote
... often the need for an exit in the middle construct is based on a preconceived notion rather than
on a real necessity, and that sometimes an even better solution is found when sticking to the
fundamental constructs.
Looking at my annoying bit of code I found, that replacing the for-statement-with-exit by a repeat-statement actually makes the code more lucid.

Quote
... our language ... defines and delimits the abstract space in which we can formulate ... our thoughts.
That was exactly my point. Prototyping in another language (python) made it neccessary to rephrase one part of the program in Zonnon. Trying to avoid changes to the flow logic by using the loop-statement now appears to be the worse alternative.
What I complained about was that the missing language feaure limited my freedom of expression. Of course you could argue about the benefits of having only one way of doing things...

« Last Edit: August 17, 2008, 10:43:27 AM by gub » Logged
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