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  • open switch
    [IBM prob. from railroading] n. An unresolved question, issue, or problem.


  •  View Definition: syntactic sugar 

    syntactic sugar


    [coined by Peter Landin] n. Features added to a language or other formalism to make it `sweeter' for humans, that do not affect the expressiveness of the formalism (compare chrome). Used esp. when there is an obvious and trivial translation of the `sugar' feature into other constructs already present in the notation. C's `a[i]' notation is syntactic sugar for `*(a + i)'. "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." --- Alan Perlis.

    The variants `syntactic saccharine' and `syntactic syrup' are also recorded. These denotes something even more gratuitous, in that syntactic sugar serves a purpose (making something more acceptable to humans) but syntactic saccharine or syrup serves no purpose at all. Compare candygrammar.