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Re: OT - Programming Languages w/o English Syntax

Don Werve wrote:
On Fri, Oct 17, 2003 at 03:37:33PM -0700, Erik Steffl wrote:

english has a fairly simple a regular grammar so it's fairly easy to create english based programming language - the basic control structures are pretty much english sentences.

Actually, English grammar is a nightmare to behold; there is no

nightmare? try to learn (if you don't know already) e.g. slovak (or any of the slavic languages).

consistent method of handling verb conjugations, and the structure of a
sentence is integral to its meaning; you can't just randomly move words
around in an English sentence and expect things to work.  The way a

and that's what's simple about it: you have vocabulary and structures of sentences and that's it. very simple.

vocabulary: for each word you only need the word, possibly few irregularities

  sentence structures: relatively few

compare to e.g. slovak: each words is used in number of forms, depending on relationships to other words (case, gender) and what you want to express (in other words: a lot more than the basic meaning is/can be encoded in a word). sentence structure is very flexible, words can be in different order which gives sentence slightly or very different meaning... you have to know gender for each noun (well, unless the noun means something that is explicitly male or female)

computer works at the low level (e.g., assembler and/or machine code) is
actually much more similar to Japanese, where you have an action and the
associate data stapled together in pairs, much like Japanese words are
(nominally) paired with particles.

it's possible that there are natural languages that are even better suited for computerization...

The only reason that English-esque languages are prevalent is that, in
the early days, most of the programmers were native English speakers,
and as such, wrote tools and compilers that best fit their native
linguistic models.  If computerdom had started in Germany, then I'd
wager that we'd see more languages which used a German grammatic style.

not so sure... there was significant computer related research/business done in non-english speaking countries and yet there was no push towards computer languages that are not english based... (and take a look at how many programming languages there are). even people who do not speak english prefer english based computer languages (as far as I can tell). a lot of it is inital momentum but I don't think that's the only reason...


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