What is Expressiveness in a Computer Language

David Squire David.Squire at no.spam.from.here.au
Tue Jun 20 17:51:43 CEST 2006


Matthias Blume wrote:
> David Squire <David.Squire at no.spam.from.here.au> writes:
> 
>> Andreas Rossberg wrote:
>>> Rob Thorpe wrote:
>>>>>> No, that isn't what I said.  What I said was:
>>>>>> "A language is latently typed if a value has a property - called it's
>>>>>> type - attached to it, and given it's type it can only represent values
>>>>>> defined by a certain class."
>>>>> "it [= a value] [...] can [...] represent values"?
>>>> ???
>>> I just quoted, in condensed form, what you said above: namely, that
>>> a value represents values - which I find a strange and circular
>>> definition.
>>>
>> But you left out the most significant part: "given it's type it can
>> only represent values *defined by a certain class*" (my emphasis). In
>> C-ish notation:
>>
>>      unsigned int x;
>>
>> means that x can only represent elements that are integers elements of
>> the set (class) of values [0, MAX_INT]. Negative numbers and
>> non-integer numbers are excluded, as are all sorts of other things.
> 
> This x is not a value.  It is a name of a memory location.
> 
>> You over-condensed.
> 
> Andreas condensed correctly.

I should have stayed out of this. I had not realised that it had 
degenerated to point-scoring off someone typing "value" when it is clear 
from context that he meant "variable".

Bye.

DS



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