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Re: succinctness = power

On 24-May-02 14:05:21 Paul Graham <paulgraham@yahoo.com> wrote:
 PG> Paul Prescod said something in a recent mail on this list
 PG> that stuck in my mind:

 PG>   Python's goal is regularity and readability, not
 PG>   succinctness.

This does not mean that succinctness is to be avoided.

The very act of programming contributes to succinctness, in future
repeated use.

The act of programming is to automate the use of complexity, complexity
that is made up of simpler things, so as to make repeated use of such
complexity easier.

Programming or software engineering is a very young field. As it matures
and becomes better understood as automation mechanics of binary based
hardware this issue of succinctness will become more a matter of the
question: at what point or level of the conversion between human input to
binary machine controlling sequence is there the most succinctness?

Certainly the binary concept is succinct but that does not mean what is
expressed using it is succinct, or not. If you take something very
complex that is expressed in a sequence of binary and assign a label to it
to ease repeated access to it then that label becomes the succinct of that
complex expression.

In time auto-coding directions will produce such a system of development
where it is up to the human factor to determine when and where to use what
"vocabulary" (and/or to create a vocabulary) so as to make the initial
communication to translation/conversion machinery/process as easy or
complex as desired. Translation/conversion machinery/process that in turn
produces effiencent binary.

The need for readability in source code only goes as far as the need to
read it goes. When it becomes more cost effective to regenerate improved
code using autocoding directions than it is to manually maintain old

As a matter of what to work with in making improvements, it becomes a goal
oriented written description of what is desired.  From this the autocoder
converts it into machine readable code thru a process of translation(s)
that are defined by dynamic "word = definition" vocabularies created once
(rather than manually reinvented over and over).

to argue succinctness in terms of programming is like splitting hairs and
arguing this hair is better than that hair when in fact they are the same
hair. Not to mention the need to start using a shampoo that reduces split

Timothy Rue
Email @ mailto:timrue@mindspring.com
Web @ http://www.mindspring.com/~timrue/