[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: succinctness = power

Anton van Straaten wrote:
> 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.  

I would call these things the "reason" for a programming language and
succinctness merely a byproduct. So the power of a language is not
measured by succinctness but perhaps in some cases reflected in

> 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.  :)

Given two choices: 

1. Meet the list of requirements but do not be succinct

2. Be succinct but do not meet the list of requirements

Which do you pick? If 1, then you disagree with the argument that
succinctness is what languages are for and that the power of a language
is its succinctness. If 2, I'd rather not use any progamming language
designed by you.

 Paul Prescod