robin at SPAMREMOVEjessikat.fsnet.co.uk
Sun Dec 26 16:22:47 CET 2004
Alex Martelli wrote:
> Robin Becker <robin at SPAMREMOVEjessikat.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
>>Well your utility function seems to be related to "learn more approaches
> Which part of "if" do you find hard to parse?
>>I suspect there may be some programming language
>>measure which would push really high level languages way up. Simply
> "Language Level" as defined in
> <http://www.theadvisors.com/langcomparison.htm> (first google hit for
> "language level" _without_ quotes) might be a starting point. If one
> were to study accurately (as opposed to "eyeball it", as theadvisors.com
> does too often) LL for, say, Lisp, Oz, OCAML, Ruby, Perl, Python, I
> doubt one would find statistically significant consistent differences
> across a broad range of domains, though.
so if these languages are equivalent the cpu measure might have some
>>I agree entirely with this last, but this is about language comparisons
>>and if we're being objective we need to do some measurements. If this is
>>impossible then discussion reduces to 'my language is better than yours'
>>which is pretty futile.
> I do not agree with the underlying axiom that all human endeavours
> _must_ be numerically measurable or else can't be meaningfully
I take this to mean that comparisons can be done some other way. If so a
rationalist such as myself would want them used. Discussing
Wittgenstein will probably not assist me if logic/mathematics can't.
Human languages are also not comparable numerically, but that doesn't
stop linguists from comparing and classifying them. I suppose there must
be an equivalent dissection for the fundamental concepts of CS languages.
> It's not _conceptually impossible_ to measure the didactical values of
> different endeavours in terms of enhancing skills at some given target
> tasks; it _is_, however, prohibitively costly, in most cases, to perform
> properly controlled double-blind experiments of this nature. In this
> case, as in most other similar ones in real life, we're not even given a
> precise set of target tasks, just (as is perfectly reasonable) a generic
> potential desire to _learn about different approaches to programming_.
I was thinking that perhaps indirect measures might assist; perhaps
teachability, popularity etc could be used. I work with some student
interns. They are asked to learn haskell, their teachers like it and the
students mostly hate it. I suspect that Oz has more 'features' so
teachers will like it.
> I think it would be silly to try to stop people from desiring to learn
> something even when they can't quantify the eventual success at such
> learning endeavours.....
I'm certainly not attempting to stop any doing anything.
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