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RE: succinctness = power

Fredrik Lundh wrote:
> paul graham wrote:
> > The more I think about it, succinctness seems to be what
> > languages are *for*.  If so, to say that the aim of a language
> > is not to be succinct seems almost to say that its aim is not
> > to be a good programming language.
> nonsense.

Rather hard to know what you're basing that conclusion on...  I'd say Paul
is correct, almost provably so (along the lines of Algorithmic Information
Theory).  However, you have to carefully identify what it is that you're
trying to express in a language - it usually goes beyond the direct problem
being solved.  Other (interrelated) requirements are ease of human
comprehension, maintainability, extensibility, reusability of code,
performance, checkability, testability, costs of development, etc.  A
language ought to be as succinct it can be while still achieving the goals
that are considered important.

It's possible to come up with very succinct languages that can express
complex concepts in a very few bits, but they may fail to meet many of the
sorts of requirements I mentioned.  So it's clearly possible to be too
succinct.  The goal should be to be as succinct as you possibly can, but no
succincter.  :)