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Re: Questions for a language designer

I may have mentioned this before, but there is a good set of pages
about language design:


It is not about computer-language design, but Scott McKay's
questions reminded me...  Here, the would-be language designer
is made to realize that he/she has not considered pronouns or
number systems, let alone verb tenses or gender.

Someone animated by a purely aesthetic desire for a new and
more beautiful language might be daunted.

I get the same feeling from Scott's list of questions.

To switch metaphors, I guess it depends on whether one is
designing a car or an engine.

It's certainly possible to design a language and not be able
to implement it.   It's even more likely that someone will implement
a language they have not designed.

If someone told me they want to design a language, I would be
more  interested, at least initially, by their motivations.  Afterward,
I think the conversation would naturally go toward specific
existing languages, and whether they might fill the bill.

Kevin Kelleher <kkell@znet.com>