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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 19:09:32 -0400

In lists.arch.users, you wrote:
> On Friday, August 27, 2004 at 6:49:13 PM, 
>     James Blackwell <address@hidden> wrote:
>> 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!)
"Tobias C. Rittweiler" <address@hidden> wrote:
> My mail with the transformations was meant to show you that this is
> partially not true. If you consider everything a function, even C, Java
> and the whole other pile turn up being prefix, too.

Your switchover was pretty nice, but a duck still ended up being a
duck. You also don't cover the point I was trying to make (so I'll make
it a little more clearly): 

Most of the programmers I have met are accustomed to algebraic ordering,
and are not accustomed to prefix ordering. As a pretty average
programmer, based on my reaction, and the reaction of others, I think
that using prefix ordering is a showstopper for arch users if they have
the perception that they will have to work with it frequently.

> The problem is that prefix strikes our Etos as soon as it goes about
> *mathematics*, and most people just glance at Lisp and see those
> mathematical expressions using prefix and go crazy about it, although
> mathematics aren't that much used commonly (and probably will even less
> in xl.) [They just happen to be used in introductory cases for
> simplicity, and, granted, I just committed that mistake, as well]

For the sake of argument, lets assume your point is true. In fact, I'll
go you one step better and assume for the purpose of this argument that
prefix is *better*. We still loose, because the perception is there.

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

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