If Scheme is so good why MIT drops it?

Rhodri James rhodri at wildebst.demon.co.uk
Mon Jul 27 00:32:30 CEST 2009


On Sun, 26 Jul 2009 14:31:06 +0100, Raffael Cavallaro  
<raffaelcavallaro at pas.espam.s.il.vous.plait.mac.com> wrote:

> On 2009-07-26 09:16:39 -0400, aahz at pythoncraft.com (Aahz) said:
>
>> There are plenty of expert C++
>> programmers who switched to Python;
>
> "plenty" is an absolute term, not a relative term. I sincerely doubt  
> that the majority of python users were formerly *expert* C++ programmers.

Nitpicking like this doesn't help your case.

>> your thesis only applies to the
>> legions of people who found it difficult to learn C++ in the first  
>> place.
>
> No, my thesis applies to the overwhelming majority of programmers who  
> found it more difficult to *master* (i.e., not merely use) C++ as  
> opposed to mastering python. BTW, this is a *complement* not a dis;  
> python is a better language than C++ precisely because it is more  
> sensibly and elegantly designed than C++ and therefore easier to master.

It is perhaps more accurate to say that Python was designed where C++
aggregated.  C was fundamentally the wrong place to have started from,
making C++ (as distinct from the subset of C++ that is really C) harder
to learn, never mind master, than it really needed to be.

> php represents the same process but farther down the ladder, as it were.  
> There's often a tradeoff between ease of mastery and power. python hits  
> a sweet spot for many tasks and many programmers, especially as compared  
> to C++ (or even lisp, which though more powerful than python is more  
> difficult to master. lisp beats C++ on both counts imho - more powerful  
> *and* easier to master). php hits a sweet spot only in a very restricted  
> domain. Beyond that, it is clearly inferior to python which has greater  
> power, but is more difficult to master.

Fundamentally incorrect.  PHP attracted many people because of where it
lives in the web application structure -- the part of the language that
was thought about very hard.  Beyond that there's nothing much to master,
so the whole ease vs power debate is rather pointless.

-- 
Rhodri James *-* Wildebeest Herder to the Masses



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