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Re: succinctness = power
Quoting Fredrik Lundh <email@example.com>:
> michael wrote:
> > This is why I don't like the word "succinctness"; most people think
> > means syntactic succinctness e.g. like in the obfuscated C code con-
> > tests.
> quoting merriam-webster:
> CONCISE suggests the removal of all that is super-
> fluous or elaborative. TERSE implies pointed concise-
> ness. SUCCINCT implies the greatest possible com-
> given this definition, does anyone still think that a programming
> language designed for human beings should aim for the greatest
> possible compression?
> laconically yrs /F
Given this definition, no... but this definition is inaccurate,
because 'succinct' doesn't imply the *greatest* compression; rather, it implies
compression. The unabridged webster says:
Compressed into a narrow compass; brief; concise.
More importantly, this is the way it's used in everyday speech, and I'm sure
Paul intended this graded meaning of the word rather using it for extremes.
But, I'm neither a lexicographer nor a mind reader so I could be wrong.
Succinctness does help solve the language goal of reducing complexity. The SIP
web page mentions the 'number of elements' of the program as a size metric, and
I'd argue that this in addition to the combination of these elements serves as
a good complexity metric. So, I'd say languages *should* aim for a
succinctness that reduces the size (and consequently the complexity) of
programs without hindering their expressiveness.
Jeffrey Palm --> http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~jdp