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Re: lightweight languages

   Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2001 15:37:42 -0800 
   From: "KELLEHER,KEVIN (Non-HP-Roseville,ex1)" <kevin_kelleher@non.hp.com>
   Precedence: bulk

   Just guessing, but I thought that the term "lightweight"
   was left vague so as to be inclusionary (if there is such a word).

   The Call for Participation did offer the criteron
   "that these languages are easy to acquire, learn, and use."

I wondered what they meant by "easy to acquire".  Is that "acquire" as
in "acquire language", in which case it's pretty much synonymous with
"learn"?  Or "acquire" as in "buy", i.e. there should be a free
implementation available?  (Oh, but that's true of Java, so we
can't have that...)

"Easy to use" is unfortunately so malleable and subjective a criterion
as to be very difficult to apply fairly.  And I'm afraid I think the
same of "easy to learn".  I found Perl hard to learn because it seemed
to have a lot of exceptions to rules, even for simple things.  I found
Scheme hard to learn because all that continuation-passing stuff can
be really hard to think about (the first argument should be a function
whose first argument is a function whose first argument is a function
that...), and Scheme catch (call/cc) is also rather challenging, in
my opinion.  Let's not confuse "it's good/virtuous/useful for you
to learn it" with "it's easy for you to learn it".