Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments
NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

use Perl Log In

Log In

[ Create a new account ]

chromatic (983)

chromatic
  (email not shown publicly)
http://wgz.org/chromatic/

Blog Information [technorati.com] Profile for chr0matic [technorati.com]

Journal of chromatic (983)

Friday August 03, 2007
11:59 PM

... And Then When I *Don't* Try to be Provocative

[ #33988 ]

I can usually tell when I'm going to post something provocative, but Perl is Dead. Long live Perl! has had more traffic than I expected. (Thanks, JT!)

Aside from the usual worthless debate from people who just can't get their heads away from The Broken Metric of "Intuitive" to Beginners, or the idea that maintainable software is usually not a language issue, one response stuck out.

On reddit, synthespian argued that our understanding of computer science is too immature to measure the effects of complexity on language suitability. That seems in the same vein as Larry's observation that computer scientists should pay attention to the linguists, who at least have some idea on how people communicate.

I wonder why that concept seems to elude so many programmers. (Actually, typing that sentence embarrasses me. So many programmers are lousy communicators, it shouldn't surprise me.)

(Now to post a really lame link to claim a Technorati Profile.)

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
 Full
 Abbreviated
 Hidden
More | Login | Reply
Loading... please wait.
  • I wonder why that concept seems to elude so many programmers. (Actually, typing that sentence embarrasses me. So many programmers are lousy communicators, it shouldn't surprise me.)

    The problem is that smart people tend to overestimate in what ways they are smart. I've run into countless programmers and scientists who, for example, think they really understand politics just because they listen to NPR, although they couldn't even tell you what "cloture" means. And don't even get me started on scientists who think they understand philosophy just because they can wax poetic about stem cells.

    That's not to say that you can't be smart in more than one area. But being smart in one area do

    • Well, and just because Larry is a linguist doesn't mean he really understands how people communicate either. He doesn't communicate often or well when he does. It's like saying Longfellow was a great communicator. Larry is too pleased with his own sense of obtuseness to be that in tune with how real people communicate every day in the land of real people. There are engineers...and then there are the people who know how shit works and make it all run, like plumbers and electricians. :)
      • And there's computer scientists, and then there are computer programmers. There's system architects, and system administrators. :-)
        • Yeah, and with a carload of CS and programmer guys and 3.50 you can get a cup of coffee at starbucks. :)
      • Well, and just because Larry is a linguist doesn't mean he really understands how people communicate either.

        I never claimed that linguists "really understand", merely that I think they're better at understanding language than are programmers. You can't have a gross generalization without either a little disgust or 144 subjects.

        • I would think that Larry's own camp of linguistics, the one where you drop someone into a language and have them understand it through the mechanics of 'natural' language would disagree with that assumption.
      • doesn’t mean he really understands how people communicate either. He doesn’t communicate often or well when he does.

        That’s somewhat of a non-sequitur. Understanding and ability aren’t necessarily linked closely, or at all. This is strikingly so the closer you get to issues involving psychology. Understanding a bunch about what your parents did wrong doesn’t mean you’ll be any better equipped to raise your own children, say.

  • From the reddit entry:

    "Additionally, there's no evidence than syntax complexity is better of worse. Where is the real statistical evidence that a more complex syntax add up to a larger cognitive overload?"
    Apparently my brain telling me so when I look at code from many different languages after 10 years of programming isn't enough. But, even if such studies were conducted it wouldn't matter to some. Faith cannot be shaken by such things.
    • That's right kids, it's time for another exciting episode of ANECDOTE or DATA!

      This week's contestant is Daniel Berger, a polyglot programmer with a lot of recent experience in Ruby! Let's see what Daniel has to say.

      Apparently my brain telling me so when I look at code from many different languages after 10 years of programming isn't enough.

      Hm, nice one Daniel! Let's see what our expert panel has to say!

      The votes are in, and they judge this as... ANECDOTE! Ooh, sorry.

      Thanks for playing, Daniel!