Small languages (was Re: Lua, Lunatic and Python

Paul Rubin http
Mon Dec 15 12:23:00 CET 2003


Ville Vainio <ville.spammehardvainio at spamtut.fi> writes:
> I think there was some flame wars on TCL/whatever a while (well, ages)
> back, where RMS was insisting that people should not settle for
> stripped down languages in favor of "complete" languages. I tend to
> agree. Python is a wonderful configuration language, and I don't see
> the need to do much "configuring" on systems that can't handle Python.

It's not a matter of whether people "should" settle, but rather an
observable fact that they DON'T settle.  So stripped down
configuration languages end up sprouting awful kludges to acquire the
functionality that was needed in the first place.  We've seen that
over and over, in Tcl, PHP, Perl, even Python to some extent.  Real
systems implementers made these mistakes in the 50's and 60's when
nobody knew better, but had figured out how to do things right by the
80's.  Others since then have repeated the same mistakes over and over.

> BTW, how big is something like Guile or other minimal Scheme anyway?
> Why wouldn't it do?

Guile is much smaller than Python, but doesn't have as fancy a runtime
system.




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