Why use Perl when we've got Python?!

Kaz Kylheku kaz at ashi.FootPrints.net
Mon Aug 23 13:59:19 CEST 1999

On Mon, 23 Aug 1999 03:48:10 -0700, xah <xah at weborder.com> wrote:
>Tom Christiansen wrote in message <37b414d7 at cs.colorado.edu>...
>>     [courtesy cc of this posting mailed to cited author]
>>Legibility is purely subjective.
>>How legible do you find Greek, Arabic, Russian, or Chinese?  And what
>>does the character set actually have to do with any inherent complexity
>>of the grammar or richness of expressive vocabulary?
>>Answer: nothing whatsoever.
>I'd like to extend what Tom Chrisiansen has said.
>Have you ever glanced at a graduate math text? It's probably all Greeks to
>you. However, if someone in the know who translated all the symbolism to
>plain English, then it becomes legible.

I doubt that translating the elegant, condensed notation into verbose English
would result in anything legible or useful.

>It really depends on who's doing the
>reading. If you are a math guy, then perhaps symbols is your thing. Most of
>us would prefer English. Legibility is purely subjective.

If I wanted to understand the graduate math text, I'd make the effort to learn
the symbols and whatever other background information I needed.  English would
be needed in acquiring this information, but after that it would be a huge
hinderance to manipulate ideas using English.

>However, the ivy tower class of buttheads insist on symbolism for math,
>clinging to the fancy that certain ideas are better expressed in certain
>language. They created a whole barrier of entry. You couldn't believe what
>kind of perverted use of symbols they invent. I know because I've been there

Mathematics is the invention and manipulation of symbols,  so you can
hardly blame these guys for doing their jobs in life. 

>On a personal note...  Do you know what a computer science degree is these
>days? They require you understand shits like lambda calculus, logic, graph
>theory, combinatorics, or even algorithms??

Maybe at the ``ivy league'' schools. Where I studied I did all networking,
advanced operating systems, compilers, advanced machine architectures,
numerical analysis (which I flunked), that sort of thing.  With a big dose of C
hacking in all of these.  (Of course logic and algorithms as well, doh!)

The studies that you describe are intended for people who are destined
to become academics rather than software developers. To ``go on'' as they say.
I think you simply went to the wrong school, one that didn't offer the hands on
systems programming and software development experience.

Incidentally why would you be advocating Perl if you don't like terse
``mathematical'' notations? I don't get it. For the most part, Perl programs
look like line noise to the uninitiated.  If you prefer English to terse
symbols, shouldn't you be advocating AppleScript or something? Your outlook
appears to be hopelessly inconsistent.

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