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RE: succinctness = power
> 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
> 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?
I think it's safe to assume that any program has requirements other than
being succinct: there's a problem that has to be solved, and a set of
requirements associated with that problem. If you don't meet the
requirements, you've failed, and succinctness doesn't enter into it.
Are you simply saying that the set of requirements goes beyond the direct
application problem, and extends into the areas I mentioned earlier, like
code comprehensibility and maintainability, etc.? If so, I agree.
But, I took PaulG to mean that, given a program that meets all of its
requirements, that the more succinct that the language it's written in
allows that program to be, the more powerful that language is.
All sort of characteristics may go into allowing succinctness to be
achieved, so it may be valid to claim that succinctness is not the "reason"
for a language; but it seems like a valid way to measure "power", for some
useful definition of power. Like any measurement, though, it can't really
be taken in isolation.
I see succinctness as an ultimate goal of programs and programming
languages, and one which is worth aiming for, even if maximal succinctness
isn't always pragmatic from a perspective of costs (time, effort, money).
I take it that at least part of what you're saying is that if the language
achieves succinctness by compromising on requirements, that it's failed, and
I certainly agree with that. However, I believe it's possible for one
language to allow greater succinctness than another without compromising on
requirements. That's a big part of what has driven the evolution from
assemblers to higher-level languages, and that trend will continue, if only
for economic sorts of reasons.