Whitespace as syntax (was Re: Python Rocks!)

Paul Prescod paul at prescod.net
Wed Feb 9 01:01:01 CET 2000

Neel Krishnaswami wrote:
> ...
> Er, you *do* realize that people have been saying this about Lisp for
> pretty much its whole existence?

You're right. I didn't really mean to say that either Lisp or Smalltalk
are doomed in the "all development ceases" sense. I meant that they
would never become mainstream languages.

Weirdo syntaxes also do not help. Python's syntax is a little weird. But
Smalltalk, Lisp and (now) Rebol seem to go out of their way to
antagonize Algol-family-trained programmers.

If it takes more than fifteen minutes to retrain the eyes from the old
language to the new language, most programmers will never make the jump.
Why would they, when there are already too many languages to learn that
do not demand eyeball retraining?

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for himself
The calculus and the rich body of mathematical analysis to which it gave
made modern science possible, but it was the algorithm that made the
world possible.
	- The Advent of the Algorithm (pending), by David Berlinski

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