[OPINION] - does language really matter if they all do the same thing?

Jonathan Daugherty cygnus at cprogrammer.org
Fri Jan 23 19:44:00 CET 2004

# Are programming languages like spoken languages, in the sense
# that they all say the same things, just using different words?

I don't think so.  Programming languages affect the way people
think about problem solving in different ways.  The capacity to
solve problems is one of the most important capacities a
programmer can expect to have.  In addition, it is the
responsibility of the programmer to see that some languages are,
by virtue of their design, made to solve certain problems in
certain ways, under various definitions of program flow, data
storage, etc.  To suppose that all programming languages are,
as you might put it, fundamentally equivalent is to suppose
that english and arabic are, in the same sense, just two sides
of the same coin, which is a gross oversimplification of the
matter and a disrespect to the qualities of the languages
that make them distinct.  On a more conjectural note, spoken
languages are more than just ways of expressing ideas; by
virtue of being evolving systems of communication, they serve
as an insight into the culture and people that developed
them.  Programming languages are the same in that respect.


  Jonathan Daugherty

  "It's a book about a Spanish guy called Manual, you should read it."
                                                            -- Dilbert

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