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RE: succinctness = power
> Why is succinctness worth aiming for? If I could deliver a product
> cheaper with a more verbose programming language, why shouldn't I?
Because lack of succinctness usually means your systems are not as
"normalized" or well-factored as they could be, which means that they won't
be cheaper, to develop or to maintain. I'm not really talking about
token-level issues, I'm talking about capabilities a language provides for
high-level reuse and architecture.
I think I probably need to define better what *I* mean by succinctness. But
it's too late tonight...
> What if I defined a programming language that was twice as verbose but
> the programmers working in it were half as expensive (business majors
> rather than CS) and could crank out the same number of features in the
> same time (the right primitives for the problem domain). Would that high
> level language be less powerful?
Give me a real world example. In my experience, it's not hard for one above
average programmer focusing on good design to outperform tens of
weak-to-average programmers who're focusing on churning out boilerplate code
by hand, which is what the scenario you describe sounds like to me.
Especially when you factor in the costs of maintaining the mountain of
unnecessary code that approach generates. I've seen situations in which
four man-months outperformed ten man-years.
But I get the impression we're talking rather at cross-purposes - if a
language is "twice as verbose", i.e. two lines for every one in another
language, I don't have a big problem with that. What I'm talking about are
situations in which larger-scale opportunities for reuse and factorization
are more difficult or impossible, resulting in programs which aren't as well
factored as they could be in another language.