[REBOL] Re: Language "attitudes"
From: joel:neely:fedex at: 26-May-2001 19:44
Graham Chiu wrote:
> Hi Joel,
> First off, the Forth community and Charles Moore have long
> parted. I got the impression from reading these transcripts
> that the Forth community are where Moore was 20 years ago.
Chuck Moore lost a fight over control of Forth, Inc., but
I don't consider that company to be the complete picture
with respect to "the FORTH community". His "fireside chat"
occurred during what was billed as "The Annual Forth Day
meeting of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Forth Interest
Group" which was held on Saturday, 11 November 2000. IMHO,
FIG does qualify as a significant part of the FORTH community.
> My interpretation of the above statement is that if the code
> you write has not correctly abstracted the problem, then it
> hasn't attained the Forth ideal, and therefore by definition
> is not "Forth". That is to say that Forth is not just a
> programming language but also a programming philosophy.
Which really supports my point: when language, philosophy,
personality of the founder, and rhetoric/attitude of the
community all become too tightly entwined (and too far down
the exclusionist scale), the whole thing begins to take on
a kind of cultish aura that many folks find off-putting.
It mitigates against the widespread adoption of the language.
> > Which of these statements is likely to make a
> > newcomer to the language feel welcomed and
> > empowered?
> I think the statements are in different contexts and so your
> question is biased :-)
You're entitled to your interpretation, of course. I don't
think the contexts are different. I believe both statements
to be accurate portrayals of the founders of the respective
lanaguages, and both founders are accorded great respect
within their respective languages' advocates.
The quotation from Larry is from the preface to _Programming_
_Perl_, widely read as an intro for Perl newbies and as a
reference by Perl fans. I've seen the same idea crop up so
often in Larry's articles, speeches, and interviews that I
believe it accurately reflects his attitude.
As mentioned above, I believe that there are many in the
FORTH world (perhaps excluding Forth, Inc.) who still regard
Chuck Moore with great respect, and I have heard the ideas
represented by that quotation many times over the years.
> > Given that both languages can look intimidating to the
> > uninitiated -- a sample of FORTH looks like this:
> > SQRT 1. 1FF. ; *. 1.
> > */ ; /. 1. SWAP */
> > ; 3/2 DUP DUP *. *. *.
> > SQRT DUP 1. - 1 + +
> > 2/ 1. + SWAP OVER /.
> > + 2/ ; END
> And I believe it can also look like:
> Orion telescope point
Yes it can, provided someone has written the appropriate
definitions of those three words. However, the fragment of
code I quoted was lifted directly from a talk by Chuck Moore,
and is not so different from what one finds if one looks
sufficiently deeply under the hood of 'Orion or 'point .
I really wasn't trying to sandbag anyone. I frankly was
astonished to find those two quotations in such a short span
of time precisely because they expressed so concisely what I
had perceived as the difference in attitudes between the two
founders and their communities of followers.
Programming languages: compact, powerful, simple ...
Pick any two!