On Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 9:47 AM, Kevin <darkintent / gmail.com> wrote:
> No I'm not confusing them, all programs provide the vocabulary (Means of
> expression. =A0Look it up if you don't believe me.) necessary to deal wit=
h a
> particular problem or problem domain.

That doesn't make them languages, or languages useful for everything.

Or do you really believe the Egyptians spoke in little pictures of
birds, eyes and waves?

> =A0Furthermore what you said hardly
> distinguishes computer programs from every other language humans have eve=
r
> or will ever create.

The difference between the two is so obvious, I don't think it needs
to be spelled out (The Latin and Asian languages suffer from a
distinct lack of looping constructs, as well as disambiguity, for
example).

> =A0All of those solve particular problems just as much as
> computer programs do.

Human languages don't solve problems. They facilitate communications
which, considering the circumstances, enables problem solving in
groups.

Very different thing from programming languages which exist to solve
problems (there are of course levels of abstractions with languages
providing richer or poorer semantics to deal with particular problems,
or to provide other trade offs).

> =A0What a program is, is a system as opposed to a
> singular object like a table or a chair. =A0The system is itself the tool=
 and
> the system exists solely to allow humans to express their will to machine=
s.

Superficially correct, but programs exist to do stuff. Be that data
storage, data analysis, or whatever, but programs don't impose a
user's will on a machine. They enable users to accomplish a task
easier and faster (ideally), than the lack of a tool would allow.

> Terseness is a problem the moment it causes people to prioritize it above
> superior semantics. =A0It might be a great idea to use the mathematical s=
ymbol
> for lambda to refer to a lambda function but it is not necessarily a grea=
t
> idea to use an ellipsis to refer to an exclusive range like we do in Ruby=
.
> =A0Both use very few characters to get the job done, but one is not only =
much
> more distinct, it is far easier to explain since it matches a subject mor=
e
> people are likely to associate correctly with very little in the way of
> explanation.

Again, not a problem of terseness but a problem of semantics.


--=20
Phillip Gawlowski

Though the folk I have met,
(Ah, how soon!) they forget
When I've moved on to some other place,
There may be one or two,
When I've played and passed through,
Who'll remember my song or my face.