Poll: Readable languages

Attila Horvath mutsuura at mutsuura.com
Thu Jun 13 17:25:49 CEST 2002


On Thu, 13 Jun 2002, Chris Gonnerman wrote:

> On Thu, 13 Jun 2002 09:36:06 -0400 (EDT), Attila Horvath wrote:
> 
> > In my years of experience I have come across VERY readable assembler and
> > very unreadable COBOL, PASCAL, FORTRAN, ADA, C/C++, JAVA, etc. So I
> > suggest that a langauge does not inherently make resultant code readable.
> 
> True, and false.  It is possible to write bad code in any language; but in my
> opinion, any programmer who has mastered Python (takes what, a couple of
> weeks? :-) *tends* to write more readable code than an equivalently 
> accomplished programmer in any other language.

Sorry. What I didn't say but meant to is that 'readability' is determined
by several factors - 'structure' being only one. Clarity and simplicity in
logic, nomenclature, packaging, comments, documentation [to mention a
few] add greatly to readability. All these can be bastardized in ANY
language.

So my question/point to Ingo was, is 'readability' or 'fundamentals' of
good programming at issue?! Either way, a survey will not answer that 
question:

	'Good programming cannot be taught by preaching generalities.
	The way to learn to program well is by seeing, over and over,
	how real programs can be improved by the application of a few
	principles of good practice and a little common sense.
	Practice in critical reading leads to skills in rewriting,
	which in turn leads to better writing.'

The above excerpt 'punch card' bookmarked in my copy of:

	"The Elements of Programming Style"; 
		Brian W. Kernighan and P. J. Plauger
		Bell Telephone Laboratories
		1974

If I understand the excerpt, I think it's saying that experience through
practice from good examples makes for good programming skills.

attila







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