# Saturday, 25 November 2006

Here's a little oddity I happened across. It's a patent application:

The present invention provides a system and/or method that facilitates expanding keywords within an existing computer programming language by employing a whitespace keyword containing embedded whitespace. A whitespace component can receive code, and create a whitespace keyword based at least upon a successive comparison of adjacent tokens. The whitespace component creates a whitespace keyword by replacing more than one token with a single token containing embedded whitespace. Moreover, the whitespace component can utilize a lexical analyzer to group code into tokens and a parser component to parse the code.

This actually makes sense to me (assuming you accept that the idea of software patents in general makes sense.) It was a huge leap to take a language like C++, where keywords are separated by spaces, and extend it to become a language where some of the keywords actually contain spaces. After all, so many of us already have words like ref and value as variable names: the only way for C++/CLI to work is the conceptual leap that says "ref isn't the keyword, ref class is the keyword." If you wonder how that's actually done... read the patent application.

Kate

Saturday, 25 November 2006 14:54:42 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1]