Language change and code breaks

Bruce Sass bsass at
Thu Jul 19 18:08:46 EDT 2001

On Thu, 19 Jul 2001, Guido van Rossum wrote:

> > I'm still wondering what advantage there is to crippling the
> > expressivity of a language for the sake of a small group of
> > non-programmers.
> IMO there are two non-truths in this statement.
> (1) The expressivity of the language is not crippled.

I defined what I mean by "exressivity" in a previous post, no one
complained, so I continue to use it...

With a case-insensitive language "a" == "A", so you would need to do
"a_first" and "a_second" (whatever); the ideas represented by "a" and
"A" can be referred to more succinctly in a case-sensitive language,
so I went so far as to say case-sensitive is more expressive than

...feel free to s/expressive/<something>/

The short of it is... ya got less symbols to work with, therefore it
is less <something>... why is that good for programmers?

> (2) Potentially, the group of non-programmers is much larger than the
>     group of programmers (and it's easier to teach programmers an
>     arbitrary rule than non-programmers).

Ok... it is not the group that is small, but the amount of programming
done by the individuals in the group... why should a general purpose
programming language cater to a group who rarely program? Surely that
is best left to a specialized language that addresses the concerns of
that group, and not foisted upon those who use the language everyday.

- Bruce

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