OT: spacing of code in Google Groups

Jacek Generowicz jacek.generowicz at cern.ch
Fri Jan 7 03:56:02 EST 2005

Peter Hansen <peter at engcorp.com> writes:

> Jacek Generowicz wrote:
> > Peter Hansen <peter at engcorp.com> writes:
> >>Why the heck would I ever have to do "rectangle operations" on a
> >>regular basis?  ;-)
> > Well, given that all editors are cat equivalent[*], you don't _have_
> > to use any of their features :-)
> This "cat equivalent" thing is a red-herring.  I can rarely type more
> than a line of code without making a typographical error.  Sometimes
> I won't catch that error until a bit later.  Using "cat" alone would
> provide me little opportunity to fix the error, so I would never
> be able to produce a working program longer than a few lines.

And have you ever tried to write a serious program on a Turing Machine?

This is exactly my point: Turing Equivalence is only theoretical. In
practise some languages are more powerful than others. Same goes for

> But the whole argument is fairly moot...  I've needed a rectangle
> operation only once in the last ten years,

Whereas I use rectangle operations, on average, a few times every day
... because they are part of my standard toolbox, they suggest
themselves as the right solution to many a problem.

There are plenty of programmers out there who "have only needed
classes once in the last ten years".

More powerful editors, just like more powerful languages, can make
their users more productive. Complicated editors, just like
complicated programming languages, can make their users less
productive[*]. The optimal point in complexity-expressiveness space
will be different for different individuals, be it for editors or
programming languages.

[*] I suspect that there are a few around here who would interpret
    this as an indictment against the direction in which Python is
    going :-)

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