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Comment Re: Unfortunately the same "pay for bug fix" cultu (Score 1) 41

If you involve teaching in the analogy you have to make it symmetrical, at which point it's no longer an analogy at all: you're paying people who teach pickpockets to teach you instead of them. Doesn't really have the original ring to it, y'know? The important part is "paying bad people not to do bad things for profit."

Comment Re:Unfortunately the same "pay for bug fix" cultur (Score 1) 41

I think his point was more that it's sad that rewards have to figure into this at all, since some (not all) of the people claiming the rewards might be amoral and simply go for the highest bidder. A little like paying pickpockets not to rob people, y'know?

Comment Re:The standards are published in English (Score 1) 330

Well, let's see. I counted a dozen of them commonly used in programming language keywords and function names. Most of these are also irregular in French and Italian.

The presence of irregular verbs does matter, though, since we're discussing the suitability of a natural language to be used for a programming language. The more complex and irregular the vocabulary of that language, the more difficult it is for a non-speaker to guess keywords.

Accents are bad primarily because we don't have the tools to deal with them in programming properly. If you leave them out, then that's violating the orthography of the language (and possibly confusing), which is not ideal. If you make them optional, then you can't use search and replace reliably. If you make them mandatory, then where do they go on the keyboard? The US-International layout uses deadkeys to insert accented letters, i.e. you press shift+' and then A to get a-diaresis. But no character appears until the a is typed. That means, to insert a quotation mark into pre-typed code, you need to type shift+' and then space. A similar problem occurs if you want to start a quoted message with a vowel; you need to put in an extra space to avoid the accented character.

Comment Re:The standards are published in English (Score 1) 330

Sorry, it's not the grammar that's being treated as a black box, but the entire usage of English in this case. To a non-English-speaking programmer, the function names might as well be arbitrary unless some familiar Latin roots peek through. You're certainly right about natural language learning, though; I do constructed languages as a hobby and I've really re-evaluated my understanding of English as a result of all of the background material I've learned. (Conclusion: it should have been wiped out by the French when they had a chance.)

Comment Re:The standards are published in English (Score 4, Interesting) 330

From the perspective of someone coming up with programming language keywords, they most certainly are. Not in syntax necessarily, but definitely in declension: the verb forms in particular are much simpler.

For example, in particular, the imperative and infinitive are identical. In English, "is file open" and "open file" use the same word for "open". In French you'd use "ouvert" for the first case and "ouvre" for the second, from the infinitive "ouvrir". And these endings aren't consistent across verbs—only very rarely do you see irregular English verbs in code; "to be" almost always appears as "is". Having to use separate keywords for function names (actions) and properties (predicative clauses and adjectives) puts a substantial cognitive load on the programmer.

Comment Re:The standards are published in English (Score 4, Interesting) 330

I've heard anecdotes that speakers of some languages (e.g. French) actually prefer programming languages written in English, because (a) the more regular grammar results in more predictable/compact function/keyword names, and (b) more transparent syntax... or at least a foreign language that abstracts away all of the questions about how to decline the verb in a function name.

For many languages, something as obtuse as Perligata would be required to generate a coherent mapping to their native tongue; with English, native speakers simply accept the broken grammar and move on, and non-native speakers just treat the grammar as a black box, like an English speaker regards the Italian terms embedded in music notation.

Comment Re:Is it normal ? (Score 1, Troll) 570

If you swap out Explorer on Windows 8 with a Windows 7 one (possibly slightly modified; I haven't tried it), you'll get a Windows 7 experience. The other differences between 7 and 8 are infinitesimal. Metro completely disappears. (Except for things like the session manager, which are really just decorated to look like Metro.) This is what (at least some of) the "third party start menus" actually do, which is why you can't keep the ribbon in Explorer if you install them.

The result is really best described as Windows 7 SP2. Not an inferior product in any sense, although working around the modified files may require a bit of effort when it's time to update.

Comment Re:Be that as it may... (Score 1) 470

Of course. Ye olde "with great power comes great responsibility" situation. When you have the ability to reshape the world, you become responsible for using that safely. The economy of their country (and possibly others) ought to be their tribe. That's what healthy people—the less corrupt politicans, for example—do.

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