- Free-form language
computer programming, a free-form language is a programming languagein which the positioning of characters on the page in program text is not significant. Program text does not need to be placed in specific columns as on old punched cardsystems, and frequently ends of lines are not significant. Whitespaceis used to delimit tokens, and does not have other significance.
Most free-form languages descend from Algol, including C, Pascal, and
Perl. These are also structured programminglanguages, which is sometimes thought to go along with the free-form syntax: Earlier imperative programminglanguages such as Fortran 77 used particular columns for line numbers, which structured languages don't use or need. Lisp languages are also free-form, although they do not descend from Algol. REXXis mostly free-form, though in some cases whitespace is a concatenationoperator.
One recent language which has abandoned parts of the free-form idiom is Python, which uses indentation with whitespace to delimit program blocks. Some critics regard this as a
throwback, and find Python text harder to read and edit as it lacks the "obvious" punctuation of C or Pascal. Python aficionados, however, contend that it improves readability: since indentation is commonly used in structured languages to make block structure visible, Python's use of whitespace ensures that the two are consistent.
Haskell also uses whitespace in this way, and does not require colons to indicate the start of a block.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Free Form Language — [engl.], formatfreie Sprache … Universal-Lexikon
free form — noun a morpheme that can occur alone • Syn: ↑free morpheme • Hypernyms: ↑morpheme * * * noun : an asymmetrical biomorphic and usually nonrectilinear shape used in works of art or of design especially of the 20th century and found typically in the … Useful english dictionary
Free-to-air — (FTA) television (TV) and radio broadcasts are sent unencrypted and may be received via any suitable receiver: Free to view (FTV) is, generally, available without subscription but is digitally encoded and may be restricted geographically. Neither … Wikipedia
Language education — Language Teaching redirects here. For the journal, see Language Teaching (journal). Linguistics … Wikipedia
Free jazz — For the Ornette Coleman album after which this genre was named see . Infobox Music genre bgcolor=pink color=black name=Free jazz stylistic origins=Jazz cultural origins=1950s in the United States instruments=Saxophone, Trombone, Piano, Guitar,… … Wikipedia
Free Christian — Free Christians, sometimes known as Non Subscribing Protestants or Non Creedal Dissenters [ cite book |title= Studies In English Dissent |last= Nuttall|first= Geoffrey F.|year= 2002|publisher= Quinta Press|location= |isbn= 1 897856 14 8|pages= ;… … Wikipedia
Free trade debate — Free trade is one of the most debated topics in economics of the 20th and 21st century Fact|date=December 2007. Arguments over free trade can be divided into economic, moral, and socio political arguments. The academic debate among economists is… … Wikipedia
Free software — or software libre is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with minimal restrictions only to ensure that… … Wikipedia
Free Talk Live — Genre Talk radio, Liberty Running time 119 min Languages English language … Wikipedia
Free writing — term applied to a technique used by mainly prose writers or teachers of writing. It refers to a method by which a writer can overcome blocks ofapathy and self criticism to produce a raw, but often unusable material. Definition Based on the… … Wikipedia