Python is readable (OT)

Jon Clements joncle at googlemail.com
Thu Mar 22 12:18:02 CET 2012


On Thursday, 22 March 2012 08:56:17 UTC, Steven D'Aprano  wrote:
> On Wed, 21 Mar 2012 18:35:16 -0700, Steve Howell wrote:
> 
> > On Mar 21, 11:06 am, Nathan Rice <nathan.alexander.r... at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
[snip].
> 
> Different programming languages are good for different things because 
> they have been designed to work in different problem/solution spaces. 
> Although I dislike C with a passion, I do recognise that it is good for 
> when the programmer needs fine control over the smallest details. It is, 
> after all, a high-level assembler. Likewise for Forth, which lets you 
> modify the compiler and language as you go.
> 
> Some languages are optimized for the compiler, some for the writer, and 
> some for the reader. So are optimized for numeric work, others for 
> database access. Some are Jack-Of-All-Trades. Each language encourages 
> its own idioms and ways of thinking about programming. 
> 
> When it comes to programming, I say, let a thousand voices shout out. 
> Instead of imagining a single language so wonderful that every other 
> language is overshadowed and forgotten, imagine that the single language 
> is the next Java, or C, or even for that matter Python, but whatever it 
> is, it's not ideal for the problems you care about, or the way you think 
> about them. Not so attractive now, is it?
> 
> 
> > The optimistic view is that there will be some kind of inflection point
> > around 2020 or so.  I could imagine a perfect storm of good things
> > happening, like convergence on a single browser platform,
> 
> You call that a perfect storm of good things. I call that sort of 
> intellectual and software monoculture a nightmare.
> 
> I want a dozen browsers, not one of which is so common that web designers 
> can design for it and ignore the rest, not one browser so common that 
> nobody dares try anything new.
> 
> 
> > nearly
> > complete migration to Python 3, further maturity of JVM-based languages,
> > etc., where the bar gets a little higher from what people expect from
> > languages.  Instead of fighting semicolons and braces, we start thinking
> > bigger.  It could also be some sort of hardware advance, like screen
> > resolutions that are so amazing they let us completely rethink our views
> > on terseness, punctuation, code organization, etc.
> 
> And what of those with poor eyesight, or the blind? Are they to be 
> excluded from your "bigger" brave new world?
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Steven



On Thursday, 22 March 2012 08:56:17 UTC, Steven D&#39;Aprano  wrote:
> On Wed, 21 Mar 2012 18:35:16 -0700, Steve Howell wrote:
> 
> > On Mar 21, 11:06 am, Nathan Rice <nathan.alexander.r... at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >> As for syntax, we have a lot of "real" domain specific languages, such
> >> as English, math and logic. They are vetted, understood and useful
> >> outside the context of programming.  We should approach the discussion
> >> of language syntax from the perspective of trying to define a unified
> >> syntactical structure for real these DSLs.    Ideally it would allow
> >> representation of things in a familiar way where possible, while
> >> providing an elegant mechanism for descriptions that cut across domains
> >> and eliminating redundancy/ambiguity.  This is clearly possible, though
> >> a truly successful attempt would probably be a work of art for the
> >> ages.
> > 
> > If I'm reading you correctly, you're expressing frustration with the
> > state of language syntax unification in 2012.  You mention language in a
> > broad sense (not just programming languages, but also English, math,
> > logic, etc.), but even in the narrow context of programming languages,
> > the current state of the world is pretty chaotic.
> 
> And this is a good thing. Programming languages are chaotic because the 
> universe of programming problems is chaotic, and the strategies available 
> to solve those problems are many and varied.
> 
> Different programming languages are good for different things because 
> they have been designed to work in different problem/solution spaces. 
> Although I dislike C with a passion, I do recognise that it is good for 
> when the programmer needs fine control over the smallest details. It is, 
> after all, a high-level assembler. Likewise for Forth, which lets you 
> modify the compiler and language as you go.
> 
> Some languages are optimized for the compiler, some for the writer, and 
> some for the reader. So are optimized for numeric work, others for 
> database access. Some are Jack-Of-All-Trades. Each language encourages 
> its own idioms and ways of thinking about programming. 
> 
> When it comes to programming, I say, let a thousand voices shout out. 
> Instead of imagining a single language so wonderful that every other 
> language is overshadowed and forgotten, imagine that the single language 
> is the next Java, or C, or even for that matter Python, but whatever it 
> is, it's not ideal for the problems you care about, or the way you think 
> about them. Not so attractive now, is it?
> 
> 
> > The optimistic view is that there will be some kind of inflection point
> > around 2020 or so.  I could imagine a perfect storm of good things
> > happening, like convergence on a single browser platform,
> 
> You call that a perfect storm of good things. I call that sort of 
> intellectual and software monoculture a nightmare.
> 
> I want a dozen browsers, not one of which is so common that web designers 
> can design for it and ignore the rest, not one browser so common that 
> nobody dares try anything new.
> 
> 
> > nearly
> > complete migration to Python 3, further maturity of JVM-based languages,
> > etc., where the bar gets a little higher from what people expect from
> > languages.  Instead of fighting semicolons and braces, we start thinking
> > bigger.  It could also be some sort of hardware advance, like screen
> > resolutions that are so amazing they let us completely rethink our views
> > on terseness, punctuation, code organization, etc.
> 
> And what of those with poor eyesight, or the blind? Are they to be 
> excluded from your "bigger" brave new world?
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Steven

Completely not related to this discussion, but, I just have to say to Steven, I could not have expressed that better. 

+1 QOTW (albeit a long one)

Jon.



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