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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: Tla spork

From: James Blackwell
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: Tla spork
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 12:49:13 -0400

> On Fri, Aug 27, 2004 at 12:53:43PM +0900, Miles Bader wrote:
>> The question is whether the burden of learning something new is
>> outweighed by the vast potential for abstraction offered by a very
>> regular syntax
Andrew Suffield wrote:
> That's a myth. Transforming between natural and prefix notation is
> trivial, loses no data, and is performed implicitly by just about
> every compiler (since they all shift into the abstract tree form that
> can become either). So there's no more "potential for abstraction";
> any transformation you can do to one can be done to the other just as
> easily.

Andrew, if we were talking about something behind the scenes, I'd agree.
The ordering we used wouldn't matter at all. But here, that's not the
case. We're talking about a user interface, and because of that, we have
to evaluate how much effort it is for the average person to use prefix

We can safely assume that everyone has been educated in algebraic
ordering (I'm making the assumption that every programmer has at least
reached middle school.) However, we can _not_ make that assumption for 
prefix ordering, which is only taught in college level comp-sci courses
(if even then!)

By using prefix ordering, we've thrown up yet another roadblock to
adoption; in order to use arch, there's yet one more skill that you have
to pick up before you can use the tool.

I think that we're already teaching the user enough (possibly too many)
new concepts. There really is a breaking point about how differently
people are willing to work just to adopt a new tool.

James Blackwell          Try something fun: For the next 24 hours, give
Smile more!              each person you meet a compliment!

GnuPG (ID 06357400) AAE4 8C76 58DA 5902 761D  247A 8A55 DA73 0635 7400

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