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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] OT: Lisp

From: Andrew Suffield
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] OT: Lisp
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2003 09:14:50 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.4i

On Thu, Nov 20, 2003 at 02:39:21AM -0600, Charles Duffy wrote:
> On Thu, 2003-11-20 at 02:11, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> > On Thu, Nov 20, 2003 at 01:03:53AM -0600, Charles Duffy wrote:
> > > On Wed, 2003-11-19 at 20:47, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> > > > Certainly all the languages common in the real world [...] don't have
> > > > any singular focus on one particular technique.
> > > 
> > >         "There is more than one way to do it".
> > >         
> > >         "There is only one Right Way to do it."
> > >         
> > >         "Everything is an object."
> > >         
> > > Any of these sound familiar?
> > 
> > Yeah. The first is a quote from Larry Wall, underlining how perl
> > doesn't focus on any particular technique, but instead endeavours to
> > enable you to do whatever you want.
> ...and yet, the result of this endevour is a very clear (or, some might
> argue, very muddy) set of language characteristics which sharply divide
> perl from most other languages. Perl code tends to have a particular
> flavor (though very heavily influenced by the author's individual
> tendencies); I'm quite certain that code transcribed to C from Perl and
> code transcribed to C from Java, for instance, would be trivially
> distinguishable in all but the most unusual circumstances.
> My point here (beyond tired rambling) is that Perl code *does* in fact
> have some sort of technique that it encourages -- except that I doubt
> that anyone, Larry Wall included, knows exactly what that technique
> happens to be.

...I can't wring any kind of sense from this at all. The best I can
come up with is this:

For every language X, that language is entirely focussed on the
technique "Writing X code".

Which is obvious, uninteresting, and doesn't seem relevant. Certainly
not to the original subject of discussion.

> > I don't know where you got the second one from. Nor does
> > google.
> It's a misquote, I think, of GvR (though I could be wrong about that).
> Would have to go do some research to find out what the *correct* quote
> is. (Not that the statement was presented as true in and of itself, but
> rather in the context of contrasting Python's tendency to lead the user
> towards a single way of stating an algorithm as opposed to Perl's...
> well, you know how Perl is. :))

I think you'd find python advocates would loudly and viciously
disagree with you and call you names.

> > The third is from the design for perl6, a language which doesn't exist
> > yet, but which already has many pages of design outline describing all
> > the different things that are being combined in it.
> Okay, perl6 works -- though I was thinking "ruby" at the time that I
> wrote it, and I'm quite sure that ruby predates perl6.

Not to mention java, smalltalk, python... it's a very old phrase. None
of these languages focus particularly on it.

> > What's your point? None of this seems relevant to the discussion at
> > hand, except to demonstrate that perl doesn't fit the category of
> > languages with a focus on one singular technique (which everybody knew
> > already; perl is probably the antithesis of this).
> I made those quotes with three separate languages in mind. Frankly, I
> think it's a bit telling that you take my parent to be all about perl.

<shrug> One obvious, one unknown, and one
ambiguous-but-possibly-related. I (mistakenly, apparently) assumed
that you had some sort of coherent point to make, so I seized upon the
only connection I could find, that's all.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' : |
 `. `'                          |
   `-             -><-          |

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