Threads for alok

    1. 2

      I once read somebody, though I can’t remember who or where, who said, paraphrased: Variable and function names tell you more about what code does than keywords and language constructs do. There should be a syntax highlighting that highlights names, and deemphasises keywords; semantic highlighting, almost. Ever since I’ve read that I’ve wanted to try it out.

      Alok writes that sie mainly wanted to make syntax more uniform and familiar – but it seems to me that hir theme emphasises names, too, by making the keywords symbol-sized. Like marrying mathematics’s compact syntax to programming’s meaningful names. I like it!

      1. 2

        I don’t know who said that quote, but the idea behind it was one of my main motivations for doing conceal like this along with uniform syntax. I wanted uniform syntax in the first place because I wanted to deemphasize the keywords and just see their “shape”.

    2. 4

      Love the idea, but I’d prefer to abstract one level higher. Overhead when reading code comes from recurring structural patterns that have to be mentally re-parsed, not individual tokens. I’d love to have definable sugar over stuff like

      x, err := fnCall("wat")
      if err != nil {
         return err


      var new []int
      for i, x := range old {
         new = append(new, fn(x))

      Being able to spot those common patterns in my code and refer to them as reterr x := fnCall("wat") or new := map(old, fn) would be awesome. I get that it’s much more difficult, but I like the idea of writing in something with more control but reading in something higher level. Can always “dive in” to the actual impl much like you’d do with a function call.

      1. 2

        That sounds something like macro expansion. rustc with --pretty=expanded will expand, though it may be too much detail.

        1. 2

          It does! Just kind of…backwards. Macro contraction? I’d love the actual file and what I write to be the full lang, but to have a way to apply some kind of semantic compression for skimming

          1. 1

            if vim gets anticonceal, this may actually be possible.

    3. 3

      For you

      What did he mean by this?

      1. 8

        It’s purely cosmetic. the code is left unchanged.

      2. 3

        It’s not very readable for someone who isn’t used to those symbols.

      3. 2

        I meant that this probably makes code harder to read for anyone standing behind you.

    4. 1

      I came up with one.


      You are a stylite whose years of living on the pillar have driven you to solipsism. You are convinced that the land that you can see, the Land of Computable Functions, is all that exists. However, you disdain to go down and actually compute anything, for that would take far too long.