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

Re: how small is lightweight?

On Wednesday, April 9, 2003, at 03:58 PM, Anton van Straaten wrote:
> The LL1 CFP (http://ll1.ai.mit.edu/cfp.html) said:
> 	The term "lightweight" refers not to actual functionality,
> 	but to the idea that these languages are easy to acquire,
> 	learn, and use.

I see. That's different from how the term seems to normally be used.

> By the LL1 definition, most of the languages on your list are 
> lightweight,
> although one could argue about Java (the language, not the VM); and I 
> might
> quibble about Perl, which really has a surprising amount of stuff to 
> acquire
> & learn, not all easy.

Perhaps a comparison of the length of the BNF syntax description would 
be more suitable to a user-friendly measure?

Then again, syntaxes that are easier for computers to parser aren't 
necessarily easier for most humans to understand.

> If you're focusing on VMs, then the LL1 sense of lightweight becomes 
> rather
> meaningless, for VMs that can host more than one language.  The Java VM
> hosts plenty of lightweight languages, for example, even if you don't 
> count
> the Java language as one of them.

Yes, as any Turing complete language could host any other.

> I think it's been observed here before that we shouldn't be surprised 
> to see
> lightweight languages being heavy in terms of resource consumption, 
> since
> making a language easy for the human isn't necessarily "easy" for the
> computer.  Perhaps the Tcl VM size proves that... :)

Maybe the conference should be renamed "user friendly languages" UFL? 

Io, a small language: http://www.iolanguage.com/