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

From: greggirwin:mindspring at: 12-May-2002 21:53

Hi Joel, << I think it was Alan Perlis who said "Syntactical sugar causes cancer of the semicolon!" >> I *have* to file that one away! That's great. << 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. >> I agree whole-heartedly. I don't regard it as an ideal, though you're probably right in that many people do. I think it is a holy grail that falls deeply in the realms of "be careful what you wish for..." :) <<
> ... 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.
Well, there are undoubtedly thousands of in-house apps, built by people who just keep hacking away at them until they work, never understanding why, or what's still not working that they don't know about. Fault-ridden as they might be, someone built them to solve a problem they had, and they do that to at least some extent. I've seen a number of these, and I'm sure you have too, perhaps cringing at the sight of them. :) Another general example would be the hundreds, if not thousands, of shareware apps (mainly written in Visual Basic if we're talking about Windows). Need to track your bowling scores? Do you design hi-fi speakers? Too many recipes in your recipe box? A PIM, that's what you need! :) << 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. >> Agreed. << 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.) >> I guess sometimes it becomes a question of origins. The usage of + originated in mathematics. Now, whether mathematics is an artificial language...let's not go there. :) << 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?
Yes, but with caution - as I'm sure you'd agree. I'd also still distinguish between the "idea" and the "implementation", and whether something belongs *in* REBOL, or is made *with* REBOL. --Gregg