P*rl in Latin, whither Python?

Peter Hansen peter at engcorp.com
Sat Nov 11 17:26:09 CET 2000

William Tanksley wrote:
> I'd be greatly entertained if there were to be written a Lojban Python
> variant. Unlike Esperanto, Lojban is designed to be parsable by a typical
> LALR grammar.  It also has some other interesting characteristics; for
> example, it handles math and logic expressions very precisely, and treats
> whitespace as entirely optional (making it a uniquely precise fit for
> Python).
> Esperanto Python would (to me) seem like an anticlimax after that clever
> Latin work.

The goals of both Esperanto and Python are ease of learning (based
largely on consistency and clean adoption of rules beginners will likely
have learned elsewhere), compactness, power of expression, and perhaps
to act as a bridge between otherwise dissimilar contexts.  

Lojban has little similarity in purpose, feel, appearance, or utility to
either Esperanto or Python, although I suspect in many ways it would be
as difficult to use as Perl.

And although I suspect writing a computer programming language based on
concepts from Esperanto (which does have the nominative and accusative
cases of most benefit in the Perligata proposal) would produce something
interesting to theorists, it goes against the fundamental philosophy of
both languages: pragmatism.  

At least at this point in time, computer languages and human languages
have little overlap of scope and there is likely little benefit in
trying to use either one to express concepts from the other's domain. 
If one were to make the effort, Lojban might be the best place to
start.  Latin would not.  IMHO.

Peter Hansen

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