Re: compiler for Chinese development language

haberg@math.su.se (Hans Aberg)
19 Oct 2005 02:44:42 -0400

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From: haberg@math.su.se (Hans Aberg)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 19 Oct 2005 02:44:42 -0400
Organization: Mathematics
References: 05-10-107
Keywords: i18n

"Ganny" <sgganesh@gmail.com> wrote:


> Ok, one basic question. Why is that the programming languages (like
> C++) have reserved keywords in English? Why not some other
> language/alternative?


> [Historically, modern software development started in the US and UK, where
> people speak English. At least as far back as the early 1960s there were
> versions of programming languages with the keywords other languages, but
> they never caught on. A compiler doesn't care of an "if" keyword is
> the two letters IF or SI or the Chinese equivalent, after all. -John]


In the 1970'ies, I heard that English was often preferred, due to that
it was easy to find short keywords, which was rather essential in
those days (perhaps rationalizing), with jokes about that French PL
with long French keywords (perhaps an urban legend).


In modern days, I think Apple has made natural language localized
versions of its AppleScript. These localized versions do not only
differ in keywords, but also the AppleScript PL grammar, in order to
follow the grammar of the natural language it tries to mimic. I
haven't tried any such localized version out, though, so that calls
for some independent verification.
--
    Hans Aberg
[In the 1980s I worked on a modelling package called Javelin which included
a little macro language. We made international versions for several
European languages including translations of the macro language keywords.
and I had to make a bunch of buffers larger so the translated keywords
would fit. As I recall, German turned out to be the wordiest. -John]



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