QWv3 – Dev blog 27

Good news everyone! I have finally climbed out of the pit of despair that is compiler hell. I’ve probably fixed/corrected 1500 errors over the weeks and I now have a ‘clean’ compile, which means that the bouncer will now let me into the ‘your code will now run’ club and I can get on with actual functionality. In short, I can now get QW to start again.

It’s important to note however that this effectively means little. The compiler performs syntactic checks on the code which essentially means that I have my grammar and spelling correct but I might still have written bug-ridden gibberish. A compiler is worthless to me, don’t get me wrong, they ARE needed (when it comes to actual deployment) but they provide me with no benefit during development and are a massive time sink. You see developers care about the semantics of their code, i.e. what it does, they care little about the spelling mistakes and the grammar issues. A compiler however cares not for semantics and in fact cannot check for semantics, for example, the Java compiler has no problem with:

while(true){}

This statement does nothing and would lock up your code and make it run forever, doing nothing; it is an infinite loop. However this line is perfectly valid and syntactically correct, the compiler lets it through.

The Java compiler is smart enough to know that in certain places this line would prevent the code from progressing, but in other places it doesn’t know. And, this is easily defeated by the following:

 boolean v = 10 > 0;
 while(v){}

The compiler is syntactically aware but not semantically aware. I don’t care about the former, only the latter.

Anyway, the compiler problem is (mostly) in the past and the practical upshot of this is that I can now get on with the good stuff which should progress at a much faster rate.

1 thought on “QWv3 – Dev blog 27

  1. Mike

    I just found your software today and might have now spent 4 hours writing in it. Though I’m not using it for the initial purpose of writing books or novels, it’s organisation capabilities are just what I wanted for organizing my DnD campaign. Happy to see that you’re still working on it!

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