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off-side rule

off-side rule in Technology

A lexical convention due to Landin, allowing the scope of declarations in a program to be expressed by indentation. Any non-whitespace token to the left of the first such token on the previous line is taken to be the start of a new declaration. Used in, for example, Miranda and Haskell.
[P.J. Landin "The Next 700 Programming Languages", CACM vol 9 pp157-165, March 1966]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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