What is Expresiveness in a Computer Language?

Kenny McCormack gazelle at yin.interaccess.com
Sun Jul 10 23:50:34 CEST 2005

In article <a1h2d1lkfisv6q6bdo8nmfc1h51ukoa7gr at 4ax.com>,
Pete Barrett  <petebarrett at beeb.net> wrote:
>On 10 Jul 2005 02:57:04 -0700, "Xah Lee" <xah at xahlee.org> wrote:
>>Similarly, in computer languages, expressiveness is significant with
>>respect to semantics, not syntactical variation.
>It may just be me, but I tend to think of a computer language as a
>tool for directing computers to perform specific actions. Do we talk
>about the expressiveness of a spade?

Most people think of natural language as "a tool for directing people to
perform specific actions" and have as much need for anything beyond that as
you seem to have.

Luckily, some people (writers, artists) are able to do more with natural
language than boss people around.  But make no mistake, that is its primary

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