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

From: James Blackwell
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: Tla spork
Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2004 15:06:55 -0400


What you wrote was *exactly* the point I was trying to get across! Thank
you very much!

Zenaanb Harkness wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 27, 2004 at 07:20:33PM -0400, Miles Bader wrote:
>> On Fri, Aug 27, 2004 at 07:09:32PM -0400, James Blackwell wrote:
>> > 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.
>> This is not clear.  I'd guess that a majority of people actually fall into
>> two camps: those who have never heard of sexps (and thus have no existing
>> prejudice against them), and those who both know of and can deal with them
>> (after all it's hardly the case that what Tom is doing is from the esoteric
>> fringe, it comes from a long and well respected tradition in CS).
> I think you missed James' point - those in the first camp, who've never
> heard of sexps (as this assumption goes), have a reaction when they
> first see prefix-notated mathematical expressions. This reaction is not
> what I'd call positive :)
> I believe I had this reaction rather strongly - I perceived it as
> difficult, challenging to grasp, requiring more than a non-trivial
> effort to 'get my head around'.
> So, I as hypothetical new programmer attacking tla, have decided I'll
>  - put in the time to learn arch commands
>  - read the tut/ browse the lists/ lurk
>  - start using it for a project/ get some experience
>  - ask for help when I get stumped
>  - persist with the learning curve of tla
> and then I come across a new language for configuration. I'm required
> to learn prefix notation, and _my perception_ is that the learning
> curve suddenly went up by [big amount/ double/ exponential].
> That's the common perception.
> As I said of myself, I tried to launch myself into the guile tutorial at
> least twice over the last few years, for at least an hour on each of
> those occasions.
> I also read a bit about different scheme dialects, haskell, and did
> some general browsing on the topic.
> Before the "transformation introductions" given on this list today,
> I never got to the point of feeling it might not be too hard to
> 'get it'.
> So, yes there are two categories, and I think most people fall into
> the first (have a lifetime of algebraic notation experience), _and_
> that the mojority of these will find a new "grammatical" syntax
> to be one too many things to learn.
> Unless we find a way to gently introduce people like me into the
> new syntax, and minimize gratuitous parens etc as Andrew Suffield
> has been showing is possible.
> Of course we can agree to disagree too...
> cheers
> zen
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James Blackwell          Try something fun: For the next 24 hours, give
Smile more!              each person you meet a compliment!

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