> I don't much like combining postfix notation with right-to-left
> evaluation.  I tend to think that the notation should "precede" the
> operands in the direction in which operations are evaluated.  Of course,
> that's more a matter of familiarity and comfort for me than any kind of
> objective criteria (other than consistency with traditional function
> notation), but it's how I feel.
>
> In other words, if the operator notation is going to be placed to the
> right of the operands, I'd prefer operands be evaluated right-to-left.
>
> Of course, I don't think *anyone* would like the way that would look, so
> that pretty much breaks down to preferring prefix notation over postfix
> notation.

A little history:

1. Polish notation was originally prefix. It was invented by the
Polish logician Lukaciewicz because it removed parentheses, and was
called "Polish" notation because people had trouble spelling and
pronouncing his name. And yes, I looked it up to get it right. :)

2. That was pretty much that until computers and programming languages
came on the scene. But in the olden days, when every electron was
precious and compactness and efficiency were of the utmost import, it
turned out that *reverse* Polish notation was *slightly* more
efficient. If you look at a parser for algebraic expressions and the
resulting run-time execution engine, you'll see that.

3. Lisp used prefix notation because McCarthy was a disciple of Church
and Church used it. Forth used reverse Polish notation because Chuck
Moore had taken apart the Burroughs compilers and stack architecture
and determined that it was the way to go for maximum compactness and
efficiency.

But the efficiency differences really are negligible these days, and
Lisp / Scheme are much more popular than Forth. Incidentally, the RPL
stands for "Reverse Polish Lisp".
-- 
M. Edward (Ed) Borasky
http://www.linkedin.com/in/edborasky

I've never met a happy clam. In fact, most of them were pretty steamed.