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Re: Diversity - existence, value, and pursuit.

On Sat, Dec 01, 2001 at 01:30:58AM -0500, Mitchell N Charity wrote:
> Undisputed is (1) s-exps are a powerful representation, (2) non s-exp
> representations can recapture some of that power, (3) but not all, (4)
> but they can be more concise, (5) the true value of 1 and 4 are often
> not fully appreciated, and (6) both have learning curves and human costs.

Whoa there! Let me just dispute these undisputeds! :) "recapture" is a
loaded word; it shows that your premise begins with the idea of S-exps
being the be all and end all of programming language syntax, and
everything else being a pale imitation. 

"powerful" is similarly loaded; I would claim that S-exps give the
language designer and implementer a lot of power at the expensive of the
vast majority of users - it is not by complete and utter accident that
approximately zero of the twenty most popularly used programming
languages are S-exp based. 

People don't like S-exps, or at least, they think they don't; the world
may make a lot more sense when you do start thinking in S-exps, but the
vast majority of programmers Out There don't want to do that. 

Perhaps your key point should be 5) - the true value of S-exps is often
not seen. But it's not seen by users, and we have to ask ourselves if
we're providing the languages that users want, or what we are
presumptuous enough to think they ought to have.

A witty saying means nothing.  -Voltaire