python for loop

Steven D'Aprano steven at
Wed Apr 1 05:54:34 CEST 2009

On Wed, 01 Apr 2009 04:58:48 +0200, Lada Kugis wrote:

> Why do we try to create languages that are intuitive to humans, then ?

Because of the foolish hope that sufficiently easy syntax will make 
excellent programmers out of average people.

Programming is not intuitive to humans. *Counting* isn't intuitive to 
humans -- children need to learn how to count.

Very few things really are intuitive. Somebody once said that the only 
truly intuitive thing is the nipple, but even with a broader definition 
of intuitive, programming still isn't intuitive. There's nothing 
intuitive about deleting a node from a red-black tree, or re-scaling a 
floating point calculation to avoid overflow.

That's not to say that syntax doesn't matter. Poor syntax gets in the way 
and makes it hard to read, comprehend and write code. But the aim of easy-
to-use syntax is for the syntax to get out of the way. Good syntax 
doesn't turn a non-programmer into a programmer, but it lowers the 
barrier to a non-programmer to learn how to program.


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