LangWart: Method congestion from mutate multiplicty

Chris Angelico rosuav at gmail.com
Sun Feb 10 22:51:30 CET 2013


On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 8:28 AM, Mark Janssen <dreamingforward at gmail.com> wrote:
> Yes, I was aware of his sarcasm.  But I was actually wanting to agree
> with the fundamental idea:  that one could reduce all data types to 1
> atomic unit and 1 grouping construct, and like set theory in
> mathematics, derive everything else.

There are many things that work fine in theory, but aren't practical.
You could theoretically rewrite any Python program in Ook (or its
non-G-rated cousin), but that doesn't mean that Ook's data model is
worth working with. You could write a Python-to-Ook compiler, perhaps,
for what that's worth. Proving these things possible may be of
curiosity value, but I wouldn't want to actually _work with_ such a
system.

A while ago I put together a language concep[1]t that, similarly,
started with nothing and let the programmer build from there. It
quickly proved to have one massive fundamental flaw: that two
programs, ostensibly written in the same language, could be utterly
and completely different. It'd be like treating Python and bash
scripts as the same language, given that the shebang at the top makes
them both execute just fine. If you reduce everything to nothing, you
(1) force the programmer to do a lot of unnecessary work, and (2)
allow two different programmers to do that work subtly differently and
thus create incompatible programs. (Python already has a little of
this, in that Py2 and Py3 files aren't guaranteed compatible; but
imagine if every source file were different.)

[1] Posted here if you care. http://rosuav.com/1/?id=683

ChrisA



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