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Re: OT - Programming Languages w/o English Syntax

* csj (csj@zapo.net) [031018 03:22]:
> At Fri, 17 Oct 2003 17:28:44 -0600,
> Monique Y. Herman wrote:
> > 
> > On Fri, 17 Oct 2003 at 22:37 GMT, Erik Steffl penned:
> > > 
> > >    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.
> > > 
> > >    This would be fairly hard todo in other languages that has
> > >    more irregular grammar (the ones I know anything about
> > >    have a lot more complicated/irregular grammar).
> > 
> > Hrm.  German and Latin are much more regular than English.
> > French is, too, iirc.  English has a *lot* of irregularity.
> If regularity is what you want, nothing beats good old binary.
> The first alien communication we'll download will probably be
> written in it.

binary is an encoding scheme, not a language.  For instance, this
English that I'm typing right now is stored and sent through the network
as binary data.  It's no less English.  To say that something is written
in binary doesn't mean all that much; it's the interpretation of the
bits that gives any meaning to an otherwise arbitrary stream of bits.
If you're reading this, it's because we've both agreed to interpret this
particular stream of bits as an encoding of characters known as "ASCII".
I highly doubt that any extraterrestrial transmission will arrive in
ASCII.  I'd predict just the opposite of your "probably": I think it's more
likely that we'll get an analog signal that we can make some sense out
of (probably it will "sound" like something) than a binary digital
signal that we can decode into something other than noise.

good times,
Microsoft has argued that open source is bad for business, but you
have to ask, "Whose business? Theirs, or yours?"	--Tim O'Reilly

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