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Re: lightweight languages

Dan Weinreb wrote:
> "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".

I agree with everything you say. There will be no concrete definition of
"lightweight language" but let's look at the creators intent. Did the
creator optimize common micro operations like string interopolation,
regular expression matching, basic arithmetic, networking libraries,
graphic libraries and list processing? Or did they spend more effort on
in-the-large features like exception handling, type declarations,
interfaces, polymorphism and templates? If the former, it is a
lightweight language. If the latter, it is a scalable language. If
*both*, it is the language you want to choose.

 Paul Prescod