OT: Programmers whos first language is not English

Alexander Schmolck a.schmolck at gmx.net
Mon Mar 10 00:45:29 CET 2003


Stephen Horne <intentionally at blank.co.uk> writes:

> On 09 Mar 2003 21:02:23 +0000, Alexander Schmolck <a.schmolck at gmx.net>
> wrote:
> 
> >Stephen Horne <intentionally at blank.co.uk> writes:
> >
> >> I haven't seen this before, but I have seen (and considered) similar.
> >> In the most extreme form, I considered having an XML representation of
> >> the semantics (basically the abstract syntax tree that the parser
> >> would normally construct) and allowing people to invent their own
> >> syntaxes almost arbitrarily.
> >
> >Uhm, why not just use lisp?
> 
> I think I had this conversation with Paul Foley, long ago ;-)
> 
> I repeat (or at least paraphrase) the short version of the answer I
> used then... I don't think LISP is a friendly language.
> 
> Of course XML isn't a friendly language either, 

Not being a language, yes.

> but the programmer looking at his editor is not supposed to see XML.

Why would he be supposed to see lisp?

> 
> Yes, I also know that it is possible to write a parser in LISP and use
> it as a metalanguage in a remarkably natural way. It's still not what
> I mean, though it IS among the advantages I'd like to be able to
> emulate.

Anything you can express in XML you can express in sexps, only that sexps are
,certainly for your problem, *much* easier to read (both for humans and
computers) and also to manipulate and to create (thanks to the fact that they
tend to come with a powerful programming language built around them).

So what's the point of using XML?

alex




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