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Comment Re:LISP (Score 1) 332

I believe it to be more than just syntax. Languages like Ruby added some of Lisps "meta" ability on top of an Algol-family-influenced (C, Pascal, Ada, VB, etc.) style of syntax, BUT it will probably remain a niche language because meta ability plus complex syntax is recipe for write-only code if the developer is not careful.

The lesson is that you have to constrain either syntax or meta-ability to make the language practical for common usage.

Complex syntax and powerful meta abilities in a language creates too many opportunities to make abstraction spaghetti.

Comment Re:"Denali" = anagram for "Denial" (Score 1) 366

I don't have a very clean way - I usually do egrep "^......$" /usr/share/dict/words (with the number of dots matching the length of the word) and then pipe it into a series of other greps - for example for two "r"s I'd do egrep -i "r.*r" while for one d I'd just use grep -i "d". There's probably a better way.

Comment APL family - collection-orientation (Score 1) 332

I always thought "collection-oriented" languages derived from or influenced by APL are interesting, such as the "J" language, "K" language, and the "A+" language. Although, these could perhaps be called "array-oriented" since they are less about stacks, graphs, lists, etc.

A sub-category of collection-orientation is "table oriented", which SQL is part of.

Comment Re:Not really (Score 1) 263

let's not pretend that it was a wonderful product that took over the world by being the best thing ever

My interpretation is that the author is saying W95 was heavily influential, NOT that it was necessarily "good" as a complete product. The Xerox Star was also heavily influential, but by most accounts it was not a good product overall.

A product can suck overall yet still introduce and demonstrate catchy concepts.

Comment Re:F*ck Python (Syntax Squabbles & Choice) (Score 1) 58

I'd like to give Microsoft rare kudos for making a language that (mostly) allows two syntax styles: "C" and "VB". Maybe they can add a third: Python/Ruby-like. (I know their CLR allows many languages, but they are not quite as cross-comparable as C# and VB.Net.)

Everybody has their syntax preference and there is no use in continued bickering; it's a personal thing that matches personal psychology/physiology. Your head is not my head. Your fingers are not my fingers.

My fingers are getting old, and I'm beginning the like the VB (Net) style because I don't have to keep pressing the damned shift key as much. (There are other smaller reasons, but I won't go into them here.)

Comment Small != Cheap (Score 1) 138

The maintenance/support/licensing costs of a given gizmo is probably roughly the same regardless of the cost or size of the physical box*. The software is becoming the bottleneck.

The physical size and/or hardware costs seem to get too much attention. A system is a system. Size does NOT matter (that much).

* Call it "Tablizer's Law" if it's not already taken by another pundit.

If bankers can count, how come they have eight windows and only four tellers?