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RE: Functional Paradigm popularity and Maths (Was: XML as a transition to s-expr)
Tony Kimball wrote:
> : add 2 3
> : 2 add 3
> : 3 add 2
> : 2 3 add
> : are all sensibly parsable constructs as a human being.
> In English imperative sentences, the verb comes first.
Just to clarify my comment, which was:
> add 2 3
>The parentheses are a short step from there. (But switch that around to
>add: 3", and the result is clearly incomprehensible ;)
The parenthesized statement really was intended as a joke. One of the
things I found off-putting about Smalltalk's syntax was the colons after
message names (that take parameters). Here's an example I just cut off the
'Got Milk?' replaceFrom: 5 to: 8 with: 'I am lost'
You mentioned English sentences. It's for those kinds of reasons that the
colons get in my way when reading - I have an ingrained response to a colon,
especially when there's a space after it: it's a pause. Translating the
above into "telegram form" (tm) might give you an idea of how I read the
'Got Milk?' replaceFrom PAUSE 5 to PAUSE 8 with PAUSE 'I am lost'
However, I do realize, as I said, that these are very subjective issues.
Hence the smiley I included - I wasn't seriously claiming that "2 add: 3" is
intrinsically less parsable, although it has proved to be for me.