Skip to main content

The smallest feature

Headshot of article author Greg Lindhorst

This has to be one of the smallest features ever shipped.  We’ve modified the behavior of one character, and it is a small character at that.  But I think you will agree that it will have a major impact on your work.

See if you can spot the difference.  Last week:

This week:

Did you catch it?  Of course, it is the 5 red pixels after the semicolon that indicates an error.

Yes, after years of research, massive focus groups, intense design debates, and countless cups of coffee, we now accept formulas with a semicolon at the end.   For those of you in lands where a comma is used as the decimal separator, that’s two semicolons.

What’s the big deal?  First, there are many of you that simply can’t kick the habit of putting a semicolon at the end of everything.  C/C++/C# demands it and many other languages either prefer or accept it.

Second, have you ever tried to comment out a function call at the end of a long formula?   Take this example:

If you comment out the last line, you are left with a dangling semicolon on the previous line that will cause an error.  But no longer:

Now, can you use TWO chaining operators in a row?  No, let’s not get crazy out there.