Case-sensitivity: why -- or why not? (was Re: Damnation!)

Martijn Faassen m.faassen at
Tue May 23 06:15:19 EDT 2000

Neel Krishnaswami <neelk at> wrote:
> Martijn Faassen <m.faassen at> wrote:
>> I'd like to see something like that. For other inputs on this and
>> other things, I think the algorithms part of C++'s STL may be worth
>> investigating (keep the few neat bits, throw away the rest), and for
>> a really out there thing I've recently been playing a bit with the
>> language K (that is, I've read some of the manual), at
>> K's a bit in the style of APL (though I don't know APL). All I've
>> been doing is translating some of the operators to Python classes,
>> but since I can't think in K yet I haven't accomplished a lot. :)

> I've been meaning to learn J or K for a while. My interest was
> intiated the language Charity. It was the claim of the Charity authors
> that a large subset of interesting programs could be written as
> compositions of a fixed set of combinator fns, and that programs
> written in this way are much easier to optimize because you can have a
> lot of information about the structure of the combinators. Charity is
> really a toy language though (numbers are built from Peano's axioms!).

Right, the same claims are made by the K people, it seems. You can 
highly optimize vector operations.

> J and K are apparently languages that really stress this, *and* are
> real languages, so I'm interested in learning one of them. However,
> they look enough like line noise that I've put it off. I shall have to
> rectify this RSN...

One of the applications of K appears to be a database system that is
way more compact and way faster than traditional databases. In fact,
it sounds quite a bit like metakit, in that it's column based. They give
this as an example of the power of K. 

K does looks like line noise, though. Very much so. :) And I've found that
Python code is only 3 times as long or so, while being more readable.
(and a lot slower) This from a very limited experiment!


History of the 20th Century: WW1, WW2, WW3?
No, WWW -- Could we be going in the right direction?

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