Python is readable

Steve Howell showell30 at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 31 07:07:52 CEST 2012


On Mar 30, 1:20 pm, Chris Angelico <ros... at gmail.com> wrote:

> > Really?  Or could it be that algorithms for natural language
> > processing that don't fail miserably is a very recent development,
> > restricted natural languages more recent still, and pretty much all
> > commonly used programming languages are all ~20+ years old?  Could it
> > also be that most programmers don't see a lot of incentives to make
> > things accessible, since they're already invested in the status quo,
> > and they might lose some personal value if programming stopped being
> > an arcane practice?
>
> Totally. That's why we're all still programming in assembly language
> and doing our own memory management, because we would lose a lot of
> personal value if programming stopped being so difficult. If it
> weren't for all these silly new-fangled languages with their automatic
> garbage collection and higher order function handling, we would all be
> commanding much higher salaries.
>

While I don't subscribe to the conspiracy theory that "programmers
invest in arcane practices to preserve personal value" [paraphrase of
Nathan], surely you could come up with a better argument than "garbage
collection."

Garbage collection was invented over 50 years ago (1959, according to
Wikipedia), and it was implemented in a whole bunch of popular
programming languages in the 90s (and earlier too, if you count
Smalltalk as a popular language).

Python's over 20 years old, and it had garbage collection pretty early
on.  Java's not quite 20 years old, but if Java is your best example
of a "new-fangled" language with automatic garbage collection, then I
have a hard time appreciating your sarcastic comments.

There hasn't been much progress in programming language design in the
last 20 years.  It's been incremental at best. Nobody's really
thinking outside the box, as far as I can tell.  Please prove me
wrong.

It's true that we've moved past assembly language.





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