Lambda the Ultimate

inactiveTopic Avoiding Language Advocacy
started 12/14/2000; 9:46:25 AM - last post 12/15/2000; 3:32:11 PM
Chris Rathman - Avoiding Language Advocacy  blueArrow
12/14/2000; 9:46:25 AM (reads: 675, responses: 1)
Avoiding Language Advocacy
As seen on a Slashdot discussion. This is sort of a follow-up to a previous item I made about Mark Jason Dominus paper that compared Pascal/C with ML and attempted to extrapolate some lessons to Perl.

I suppose the author was frustrated from the fact that the discussion of language differences resulted in a bunch of wars, instead of learning lessons from the diversity.

I do think a language war in limited doses can give some perspective, but such advocacy does drown out reasonable discussion, usually having a high signal/noise factor.
Posted to "" by Chris Rathman on 12/14/00; 9:49:43 AM

Ehud Lamm - Re: Avoiding Language Advocacy  blueArrow
12/15/2000; 3:32:11 PM (reads: 729, responses: 0)
Comparing language features and programming paradigms can be helpful - both for research and for learning purposes.

It is mindless wars, along the lines of "my language is bigger than yours," that fail to bring any interesting results.

It is important to know what's the goal of the comparison. Is it to design a new language, to find better uses of a certain feature etc. Most of the times these language wars have no reason - and that's one reaon they can go on forever.

A common error is to try to understand some language by trying to find a one-to-one mapping to another language. This is rarely possible, and only works in uninteresting cases.

Knowing how to compare is critical. And this requires higher cognitive ability than programming...