David Garamond wrote:

> Tyler Zesiger wrote:
> 
>> The obsessive levels of abbreviation in the *nix world infuriate me. 
>> Especially when it's so easy to make verbose and abbreviated commands 
>> exist together, and do the same thing.
> 
...
> 
> But I do find that many Perl programmers' tendency to abbreviate 
> everything is a little bit too much. $prog or $prg instead of $program, 
> $chg instead of $change, $txt instead of $text (please, it's just one 
> letter!), etc. This does infuriate me sometimes.


The May issue of The Believer [0], a literary mag published in the USA, 
has an article by David Ng ostensibly about the literature of software 
development.

He discusses what he sees as geek pride and bravado in using languages 
that lend themselves toward complex and/or terse code. In his view, 
hardcore geeks disparage Visual Basic in favor of Java because VB is too 
easy to learn and read; perl gets extra high points for executable line 
noise and the barrier to comprehension (at least for outsiders).  He's 
somewhat right, at least to the extent that there exists a juvenile 
coder subculture that values obfuscation.  (I suspect that these are the 
same people who write 'windoze', or knock the use of variable names 
longer that 3 characters.)

Ng misses the real point, which is that the better hackers prefer 
languages that enable expressiveness.  Often, the easy-to-learn, 
easy-to-use language is also "dumbed down" in some way to impede any 
real code eloquence.  But hackers aren't looking for complexity for its 
own sake (though it may come as a side effect).

It's the job market and management that pushes them toward Java; it's 
the thought-to-code ratio that draws them to Lisp, Ruby, and so on.


James

[0] http://www.believermag.com/