[Nickle] Artificial distinction between import and autoimport

Carl Worth cworth at cworth.org
Wed Feb 6 11:19:10 PST 2008

On Wed, 06 Feb 2008 10:42:31 -0800, Bart Massey wrote:
> What's the advantage of getting rid of "auto", again?

From the beginning, then:

I started learning nickle and started writing programs like this:

	import File;
	import Socket;

and that seemed a reasonable-enough syntax and it worked. I can't say
exactly where I picked up the "import" keyword.

Then, eventually I hit this:

	import Process;
	<stdin>:4: non-existant namespace Process

and got totally confused. Keith straightened me out and showed me that
I could make it work with:

	autoimport Process;

and that's where I was left trying to learn whether I should say
"autoimport" or "import" for any given namespace.

Now, you seem to be arguing for users to just use "autoimport"
everywhere, but that's a bad idea for several reasons:

	1. As a keyword, it's particularly bad since it's not a word.

	2. It's obviously a derivative of "import" so users are
           eventually going to type that, (whether intentionally or
           accidentally), and that will lead to confusion, (because it
           will sometimes work).

> just too ugly to live with?  I'll admit that it might not
> have been the most fortuitous choice, but do we really hate
> it enough to make it go away?

I do, yes. :-)

I'm not actually reading through all the semantic discussions now, but
please provide new users with a better keyword than "autoimport" as
the standard-practice means of importing namespaces into their

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