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Re: way-OT: regularity of german v. english [was: Re: OT - Programming Languages w/o English Syntax]

Nori Heikkinen wrote:
on Sat, 25 Oct 2003 11:05:22AM -0700, Erik Steffl insinuated:

Nori Heikkinen wrote:

on Fri, 24 Oct 2003 12:11:49PM -0700, Erik Steffl insinuated:

Nori Heikkinen wrote:

now, think of an example in which you encounter anything remotely like
full sentence structure in code, and try to apply this.  good luck.

what about if the function name is verb? what if it's not a question?

e.g. getRed(apple), or make(red, apple) etc.

boolisch bekommRot( Apfel ) { }
mach( rot, Apfel );

what's different from English about those two?  again, the implied
sentences are clear; the underlying code is equally as ungrammatical
in both.

 shouldn't rot in these cases follow gender of subject?

no.  the implied sentence from the latter example above, were one to
translate it into german prose, would be "mach der Apfel rot" -- "make
the apple red."  note that the adjective follows the noun, not
precedes, so the rule does not apply.

are you arguing that while in german language there has to be agreement in gender of verb/adjective and noun when you use german
in computer language this need suddenly disappears?


well, so far that's what you did. I admit my examples are not very good since my knowledge of german is fairly limited but YOU should be able to come up with better examples, instead you're just arguing for sake of argument (it seems)

i'm arguing that _neither_ english _nor_ german is perfectly suited to
code, since one needs to do some translation to get the sentence into
the form in which a human would say it.

this is a weird thing to argue (it's obvious). and certainly not relevant to the discussion. what I said is that english with its lego like nature is _better_ suited as a starting point...

in other words - just because neither is _perfectly_ suited to code doesn't mean that one of them is not better suited as base for programming language...

on top of that, i'm arguing that _no_ language fits this bill.  think
about it -- if there were a human language that could be described as
easily as a computer language, we would be able to express that human
language as a finite state automaton, thereby solving the language
problem, and the whole of AI with it.  there's a reason we write in a
formal, simplified language when we code!

that's obvious but the question is - why is english used so often as base for programming languages? I argued that the nature of english is responsible, in part, for this...


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