Re: Language Design Principles, was C++ intermediate representation.

Dick Weaver <rweaver@ix.netcom.com>
19 May 2005 21:44:14 -0400

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Re: Language Design Principles, was C++ intermediate representation. rbates@southwind.net (Rodney M. Bates) (2005-05-18)
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Re: Language Design Principles, was C++ intermediate representation. rbates@southwind.net (Rodney M. Bates) (2005-05-19)
Re: Language Design Principles, was C++ intermediate representation. rweaver@ix.netcom.com (Dick Weaver) (2005-05-19)
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From: Dick Weaver <rweaver@ix.netcom.com>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 19 May 2005 21:44:14 -0400
Organization: EarthLink Inc. -- http://www.EarthLink.net
References: 05-05-114 05-05-130 05-05-132 05-05-143 05-05-164
Keywords: syntax, design

Rodney M. Bates wrote:
>
>... But it is inconceivable to me that easy to compile is not
> highly correlated to human comprehension, looking at the real
> programming languages we use and leaving out carefully constructed
> counterexamples.


There are two "comprehensions" involved with a programming language:
comprehending what the machine is being instructed to do and
comprehending the algorithm(s) implemented with a program.


For the easiest to compile languages, called "Assemblers", what the
machine is instructed to do is easy to comprehend while the algorithms
implemented are often the most difficult to comprehend (compared to
other languages).


Considering only algorithm comprehension, the correlation is high and
negative; simple non-problem specific languages (easy to compile)
often make algorithm comprehension hard, complex problem specific
languages (hard to compile) often, in their field of application, make
algorithm comprehension easy. Should it be otherwise, such
problem-specific languages would be judged failures.


dick w


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