When to standardize 
Author Message
 When to standardize

> Second, didn't Dijkstra complain that other languages were  standardized
> way too soon?  Rudolf Flesch in *The Art of Plain Talk*  says about the
> Chinese language: "It is the most grown-up talk in the world.  It is
> the way people speak who started to simplify their  language thousands of
> years ago and have kept at it ever since."

My former boss is Chinese.  So is his wife.  They communicate in English
because he speaks Cantonese and she speaks Mandarin.  They can't understand
each other in Chinese.  Another Chinese friend of mine can't understand
either of them; she speaks Taiwanese.

The current state of the Forth language is very much the same.

> He also says (I summarize) that English will never catch up because
> we became literate and froze the language too soon.

English is understood in more countries than any other language.  It is
the international language for air traffic control, and the language of
most international business.

Esthetically, English is a mess.  But it's very useful.

>  I think it is far too  soon to "standardize" Forth.  When I offer my
> opinions about ( y x -)  versus ( x y -) or decimal points, etc they are
> merely my current  thinking.  I am not through thinking.  I don't want
> any of this frozen into a "standard" yet.

Please let us know when you are through thinking, so we can then get around
to standardizing the stuff.

Personally, I think that the "new" stuff in ANS Forth is *entirely boring*.
I am very tired of having to think about that old stuff (in other words,
having to wonder which of the "n" nearly-equivalent ways that implementation
"x" chose for expressing feature "y").

There are a whole lot of decisions where it doesn't matter which way you
choose, so long as you pick one and get on with it (assuming that you
don't pick an obviously stupid choice).


Fri, 30 Jul 1993 06:53:48 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

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