On 9/28/06, Reprisal <nepenthereprisal / aol.com> wrote:
> I don't think you are particularly in disagreement with what he is
> saying.  e.g.
>
> So there is no argument about that-- at least, not from me.
> Individual programs can certainly be too succinct for their own good.
> The question is, can a language be? Can a language compel programmers
> to write code that's short (in elements) at the expense of overall
> readability?

Well having now read the article completely, it looks like he never
actually makes a decision about whether succinctness really equals
power.

But I have to say that I'm more convinced that it doesn't.

There may be some correlation between more compact notations and
'power', but it's not at all clear that it's a universal.

In fact at the edges I think that it's demonstrably false.  Machine
code is actually more succinct than assembly language for example.

In fact that first step up the evolutionary ladder of programming
languages was motivated not by a desire to make code more compact,
but to make it more understandable.

And extremely compact notations like APL are famous for befuddling
even the author of works expressed in those notations.

It's not often that one feature like brevity is a controlling measure
of goodness, so that one can use the Nigel Tufnel methodology and
crank that up to 11, because it's 1 better than 10 init?!

Instead it's more like Goldilocks and "this one is too x, and this one
is too y, but this one is just right."

-- 
Rick DeNatale

My blog on Ruby
http://talklikeaduck.denhaven2.com/