CHAT: proramming langs, was Re: CHAT: OS pain
|Date:||Sunday, November 14, 1999, 18:19|
Brook Conner wrote:
> APIs and programming languages as conlangs.... Thought
> that way, most PLs are horribly painful.
Most programming languages imitate algebra. The most extreme
I know of that was thinkable-in was APL. On another hand,
Perl was designed by some one with linguistic training.
But the shell script command langs are more "linguistic" than those.
Basically, verb-objects with some adverbial-prepositional elements.
The subject is always "you" and elided. Weird punctuation and anaphora!
GUIs have taken the field temporarily, but I expect a return
of the old command-line, in the form of speech-based interfaces.
Now, that's the way to drive a car: "Please drive to work now,
not too fast, and play some Grateful Dead." Microsoft just bought
the Cambridge technology, it was in the news last week.
> I once considered a variant
> syntax for a PL called Self (a lot like Smalltalk) that would enable
> something that read like English. Self, though, lets you redefine
> anything and everything (e.g., you can make true false and change
> addition to subtraction).
> Now, what would a language be like that was designed from the ground
> up to be:
> a) a spoken language
> b) a written language
> c) a machine-readable language
> d) a language with an explicit machine semantics
> e) easy to learn
Really-easy-to-learn implies pidgin, somewhat verbose.
No morphology; SVO; all CV or CSV syllables, no diacritics.
That's my guess.