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Re: octave to matlab conversion

From: Julius Smith
Subject: Re: octave to matlab conversion
Date: Sat, 8 Oct 2005 10:41:41 -0700

On 10/8/05, Tom Holroyd <address@hidden> wrote:
> Being able to read, maintain, and modify sizeable programs, on
> the other hand, is greatly aided by a language with a clean
> design that isn't cluttered with gratuitous syntax.

One person's gratuitous syntax is another's excellent design.  There
is of course a trade-off between naturalness of syntax and simplicity
of language constructs.  I  prefer a maximally natural and expressive
syntax (e.g., Matlab, and even Perl after you know UNIX, shells, and
C), and I dislike typing, though I still want readability (so I don't
write much APL/J).  If it's readable, then it's maintainable.  The
cleanest language I've seen in the anti-syntax direction is Lisp.  I
know several people who prefer to write signal processing software in
Lisp, and it all looks like a compiler-generated parse-tree to me. 
I'll bet there is a correlation between level of mathematics training
and preference for "gratuitous syntax", and between computer-science
training and preference for a "minimalist" functional programming


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