Continued absence of dolphins

Sorry for the lack of daily “journal” posts over the past few days: I’ve been rather busy with real life, and it takes rather a while to gather up the crumbs to make a post. I’ve been writing a script off and on which will do the donkey work and let me or anyone else simply write the human part, but it’s not quite finished yet.

To be going on with, here’s the fascinating saga of negative numbers in theme files (well, more of a bug, really: Njáll Þorgeirsson does not have a starring role.) Someone complained that they couldn’t put negative numbers into theme files; Thomas closed the bug because the source comments (but not the documentation) say explicitly that negatives aren’t allowed. Besides, what good would they be? The reporter said that there was actually no reason to need negative literals because expressions which yield negative numbers can always be written instead. Certainly this does need documenting explicitly.

Havoc then pointed out that it makes little sense to prohibit “-1″ but allow “0-1″. A long discussion of the semantics of the original comment followed. Nobody could remember ever writing it or quite what its subtleties were. Did it mean that unary negation wasn’t implemented because negatives weren’t allowed for some unstated reason, or did it mean that negative literals weren’t allowed because unary negation would over-complicate the parser? Perhaps it does make sense to prohibit “-1″ if it means the code will be more maintainable? Maybe code could be shared with some existing expression parser? The issue has not been resolved.

In other news: congratulations to contributor Alex Turner (plexq on irc, aturner in svn) who got svn access yesterday after two very useful patches.

Thomas is aware that patch review is a little behind again (see above under “rather busy with real life”) and will try to get it back on track by the end of the week.