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

From: Zenaan Harkness
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: Tla spork
Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2004 13:14:32 +1000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.6+20040523i

> > 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
> > ordering.
> How many "common" infix binary operators (other than `=') do you expect to
> see in a typical tla configuration file?  How many additions,
> multiplications, division, ...?
> Someone who's never heard of Lisp won't be bothered by parenthese.
> Only people who've heard of it will think "omygod!run!this is Lisp!run!".

This has been stated a few times, and so it's time to debunk this myth:

What algebraic-addicts need is:
 - straightforward examples
 - perhaps a gentle intro, and easy to find pointers to that intro
 - the intro needs to contain examples
 - some more interesting examples
 - some non-trivial examples that do useful work, and are easy to

Also, preferably:
 - minimize gratuitous parens
 - provide some infix options/ operators
   - these need to be part of the language, so that they are actually
     used in _real_ code, in _real_ configs - they need to be the first
     choice, or else the infix versions won't actually help because
     every time (I or someone like me) goes to look/ copy similar code
     to create what they need right now, they'll tend to see whatever is
     most commonly used.

Even a competant mind, well trained in algebraic notation for many
years, will find prefix notation a challenge to grok. That is my
experience and judging from the comments, I don't think this is
anything like uncommon.

Hope that helps

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