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average programmers (was: succinctness = power)

> From: "Vladimir G. Ivanovic" <vladimir@acm.org>
> Cc: ll1-discuss@ai.mit.edu
> "PG" == Paul Graham <pg@archub.org> writes:
>   PG> And even if you like this sort of thing...
> Not many programmers are as well-versed in programming language issues
> as most people on this list. For example, I am not. So, a language that
> caters to the top 10% of programmers is not a language that I could use.
> I'd hate to see good ideas fade away because there just isn't a critcal
> mass of programmers using a language that embodies those ideas. Perhaps,
> then, the challenge is to make the good ideas accessible to the Great
> Unwashed Masses(tm).
> --- Vladimir

Good luck with that.  All my experience seems to suggest that average
programmers are _incredibly_ slow to pick up on new programming paradigms.
For most people (not those on this list, of course), learning to think in a
new way (which is what good programming languages force you to do) is an
extremely painful experience.  I see this even with extremely bright 18-19
year olds who are very proficient with C when they try to learn scheme.  I
don't know; maybe they're just lazy or unmotivated, but it's surprising how
much resistance you get.  I'm not saying it's impossible (the PLT folks are
doing a fine job of making scheme more accessible), but it's an uphill
battle.  That's why I'm sympathetic to Paul G's idea of programming
languages by and for the Programming Language Cognoscenti(tm).