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[REBOL] Re: [why-REBOL] Pros and Cons / what's so special

From: bry:itnisk at: 25-Jun-2004 10:21

> TeX was simple enough for a lot of secretaries, and prefered IIRC. You may > underestimate the IQ of your mother. Maybe a communication-problem. ;)
nope, I think though the problem is not so much syntax for most people, it is the problem of concepts, programming languages will sooner or later deal with many of the same underlying concepts. it's the concepts in many cases that are the difficulty not syntax.
> One reason for such communication-problems: did you show her variables > before,
> > As an example yesterday I had to debug some php, I've only done one major > > php project in my life, translating from a large asp application, and > that > > was a long time ago. I do not > > know the language at all, however I know the family of languages, I saw > > fairly quickly that there were some things that were likely to be > > syntactical errors, such as something like this do if(...){} > > > > I thought, what is that do doing all alone there, is that allowed? well > of > > course it wasn't, it should have been a do{}while(); > > > > Now think as mother you once had to learn that, instead of > until[..]
again, it's the concept, I don't think do{}while(); is that big a problem in comparison to until.
> > there were some other syntactical errors regarding concatenation, and one > > logical error. > > > > You have done a major php-project and still not got the language? Maybe you > > should try rebol, the concatenation-rules may be simpler. first thing one > does IIRC. ;) >
I do use Rebol, I use it for administrative scripting, I think there may be some communication problems here Volker. The major php-project was translation from a major asp project (I think I said that somewhere) as such it was not as difficult as starting a major project from scratch in the language, it was also a relative long time ago. The goal of the php was not to transfer the project to php and use that as the platform from thereon in, it was just to provide a translation of the project so that people could choose to transfer their data between platforms. Of course it helped that much of the business logic was handled in some cross platform components, so that the php, asp code was operating at a very abstract level. Given these facts I can be said to have familiarity with the language but not expertise
> > you tell someone who isn't used to Rebol about how understandable it is, > > with its human friendly syntax, and then give them some clever code, for > > example that > > article you did on O'reilly where I remember you said you did some stuff > a > > particular way because people would be thinkking "WOW, how did he do > that" > > well all that is an argument against the human friendly syntax. > > > > Some lines above you said non-c-syntax is a huge problem with rebol. Now some > > lines later you learned that much? ;))
I didn't say it was problem for me, I said that the whole human friendly syntax was a mirage. As soon as you get to doing the actual things that any programmer is going to want to do, other than sending john a message "hi", or reading/writing a http page, or any of the simple demos, you are in an area where the syntax is unfriendly enough that you do not grasp immediately what it means(immediate understanding being based on immersion in english). At that point the human friendly syntax means nothing to me, it's a programming syntax, and for some programmers who are familiar with specific families of languages, for example the ubiquitous C style languages, its lack of familiarity makes it less friendly than a familiar language. I happen to really like uncommon languages, especially ones that I think fit a specific problem domain. So I don't have as much of a problem (I have some problems of course with languages that are unique in that if I leave them alone for a time coming back into them will take a lot longer to reacquaint myself than if I leave a C derived language alone, this is however a small problem). Other people may have a larger problem.
> > > reasonable size > > > > do you mean reasonable size in the size of the language implementation, > > don't know if that matters for most things, if you mean reasonable size > in > > the context > > of the amount of code one has to write to do things yes this is always a > > benefit. > > > > > Ahem. You get messages, filter messages, convert messages, store messages, > upload files (kind of messages) and do not realize you are dealing with > messages? Maybe you should set up some concurrency and contracts first to > feel more awe? ;) As for erlang, yes, very cool, but meant to turn a lot of > > computers in a single one, lets call it a "multi-machine-application".
Well that can be one usage of erlang, why can it be one usage of erlang, because it has a concept of messages, messages between processes etc. Your definition of message up there seems to be general enough that pretty much any language can be a messaging language. In Rebol if I want anything like that I have to pretty much open a port and monitor it. Fair enough, that's what you have to do in most languages, but I just can't consider it a 'messaging language' because when I think of messaging language then it means the language has built in simple semantics to start processes, shutdown processes from the process that started it, send a message to a waiting process, query a process for state, etc. That Rebol is not a messaging language as I understand it is not a lethal hit against Rebol, in point of fact I recommend Rebol pretty much everywhere I go. I just don't think it's the best thing for every job.