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[REBOL] Re: Periods as parts of rebol words?

From: joel:neely:fedex at: 11-May-2002 21:59

Hi, Gregg, Let me clarify too, lest my "enthusiasm" appear to overpower my common sense (or my manners... ;-) Gregg Irwin wrote:
> Hmmm. I guess I like sugar coating. >
I think it was Alan Perlis who said "Syntactical sugar causes cancer of the semicolon!" ;-)
> OTTOMH, I might say a programming language could be considered > good for humans based on the number of non-programmers that are > able to use it successfully. > > My justification for this is that, even though the holy grail > of 'not requiring a computer programmer to program a computer' > is an ideal we may never achieve completely, ... >
I don't even regard it as an ideal. The lack of professionalism in the programming field is one of the major factors behind the so-called "software crisis" that has been with us for the past 25 years or so. The tendency in some management circles to try to "de-skill" as many jobs as possible, so that they can staff their organizations with low-cost entry-level employees rather than recognizing the real value of the high-skill experienced employees is another. I'm *not* suggesting that there be a proficiency exam required before an individual be allowed to buy a personal computer! It should be perfectly OK for a Dad and his kids to build their own treehouse or playhouse in the back yard. However, they shouldn't imagine that having done so qualifies them to start their own construction company or work as journeyman carpenters.
> ... you have to admit that a lot of non-programmers are writing > programs that do useful stuff these days, generally in > sugar-coated languages. >
Such as? I'm really not sure what you're referring to here. If you could give an example or two I'd appreciate it.
> I think it *is* significant (and I disagree with the argument > that "it's got other problems so this won't make any difference"). >
I just meant that in this sense: I think we'll get more mileage out of addressing those areas that really give beginners difficulty in learning the language, as compared to stylistic issues that each programmer can choose for his/her own code without binding those judgement call on everybody else.
> I obviously created some confusion with my post in this regard. > REBOL is, indeed, an artificial language. I'm not suggesting that > it should strive to emulate natural language so much as it should > strive *not* to emulate other artifical languages. ;) >
There are at least some features of other contemporary programming languages that are there precisely because they have been shown to have value. (We shouldn't stop using "+" for addition just because other programming languages do so.) When other languages contain ideas that have been shown to be of value to real programmers who work on real projects, there's something to be said for asking, Does REBOL have anything to address this? If not, why can't it use tried-and-true ideas? I guess I just tend to be more interested in whether REBOL is internally coherent than in whether it resembles (or refuses to resemble) other languages. If I wanted to use a language that was different just for the sake of being different, I'd use INTERCAL. ;-) -jn- -- ; Joel Neely joeldotneelyatfedexdotcom REBOL [] do [ do func [s] [ foreach [a b] s [prin b] ] sort/skip do function [s] [t] [ t: "" foreach [a b] s [repend t [b a]] t ] { | e s m!zauafBpcvekexEohthjJakwLrngohOqrlryRnsctdtiub} 2 ]