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Re: why tail recursion matters and why Java isn't it, was Re: lispperformance was Re: problems with lisp
Guy Steele - Sun Microsystems Labs wrote:
> Date: Thu, 04 Sep 2003 21:54:45 +0200
> From: Pascal Costanza <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: Guy Steele - Sun Microsystems Labs <Guy.Steele@sun.com>
> Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
> > But if by "a matter of
> > taste" you mean that what leads to greater productivity may differ
> > from one programmer to another, then that is an objective matter that
> > is in principle subject to measurement, and one can furthermore ask
> > other questions, such as: if one were to choose a single aesthetic
> > category and force everyone to use it, which choice of category
> > would maximize total productivity? Or, if we can afford to support
> > at most three aesthetic categories, which set of at most three
> > would maximize totla productivity?
> Why would you want to force someone to use a single aesthetic category?
> Why would you want to limit the number of admissible aesthetic categories?
> The usual ugly pragmatic constraints. It costs money to support
> multiple categories, for a variety of reasons, ranging from the
> cost of testing the extra software for the multiple categories
> to the cost of programmer A not being able to maintain the code
> of programmer B when he gets hit by a bus.
This explains why programmers should agree on a language for a specific
project, and to a certain extent why a company might decide to
specialize on a language and work in problem domains that this language
is useful for.
So I would agree if you modify your questions to: "Which choice of
category would maximize totaly productivity of our programmers for the
> If the success of specific aesthetic categories varies from one
> programmer to another, wouldn't it be best to let everyone decide
> themselves what aesthetic category to use in order to maximize
> productivity? Of course, it should be a well-informed decision.
> The problem with the state of computer science today isn't that everyone
> uses Java. The problem is that everyone thinks that there should be only
> one language.
> I certainly don't think that---but I also don't think
> that having a separate language for every programmer
> is the optimal design point, either.
Sure. But I don't think this is likely to happen. The number of
programming paradigms is stabilizing, isn't it? ;)
Pascal Costanza University of Bonn
mailto:email@example.com Institute of Computer Science III
http://www.pascalcostanza.de Römerstr. 164, D-53117 Bonn (Germany)