On Fri, 2003-07-11 at 13:11, Yukihiro Matsumoto wrote:
> Hi,
> 
> In message "Re: OSCON report"
>     on 03/07/12, Matt Lawrence <matt / technoronin.com> writes:
> 
> |On a related note, Are you familiar with the Sapir-Worf Hypothesis?
> 
> David McCorkhil told me yesterday at the Japanese restaurant.
> I disagree with Worf, but very interesting concept.

I've been thinking about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis as relates to
programming languages for quite some time.  I think that the weak
version of the hypothesis holds true:

   Language influences the way we think, and influences what we
   think of.

I find myself thinking quite differently after learning Ruby, after
learning perl, and mostly after learning PHP.  Not all were good
changes, either.

PHP made me think of scripting languages as small wrappers around C
constructs.  It encourages poor memory use, as it is designed for
finite-life scripts.  It's references worked so poorly that nearly the
entire library operates on a pass-by-value scheme, and hence, so does
user code that emulates the style of the library.  Even the OO code
tends to be procedural, not polymorphic, and very oriented to
pass-by-value.

Perl made me think in terms of making problems easy to solve: If the
algorithm is too hard, change the input first.

Ruby is still changing how I think.  This is my first foray into true OO
programming, and while I've read lots of theory, this is the first I've
come to practical experience.

Is the hypothesis true?  I have no idea.  I surmise that is is
unprovable, but that does not make it any less useful than Newton's
physics equations, which are provably false.

Ari