Programming language 
Author Message
 Programming language

I must do an english essay in my classroom about programming, could you
give me some idea in english please ?

What do you think about this comment :
"Leaning a programming language is like learning a natural language.
The only difference is that you're communicating with a machine not with
a person."

Thank you very much for your help.



Sat, 26 Jul 2003 06:01:01 GMT  
 Programming language

Quote:
> What do you think about this comment :
> "Leaning a programming language is like learning a natural language.
> The only difference is that you're communicating with a machine not with
> a person."

It's exceptionally misleading, especially to beginners.
When you're writing a program, you *are* communicating with
other people.  Your communications also have to be precise
enough for the system (machine + software) to be able to
make sense of them.  But in "real life" (software development)
as well as in academia, one of the most important aspects of
successful software is how maintainable it is.  To a large
extent, maintainability depends heavily on how well your
program can be read by other people, rather than the system.
--




Sat, 26 Jul 2003 07:21:42 GMT  
 Programming language

Quote:

> "Leaning a programming language is like learning a natural language.
> The only difference is that you're communicating with a machine not with
> a person."

It is unfortunate that the word "language" is used to describe high level
programming codes, because it leads to this sort of confusion.

It's no surprise that the closest thing to a programming language in common
use, legal language, is also referred to as "codes".

--
 `-_-'   In hoc signo hack, Peter da Silva.
  'U`    "A well-rounded geek should be able to geek about anything."

         Disclaimer: WWFD?



Sat, 26 Jul 2003 10:08:11 GMT  
 Programming language

I'm surprised other people here object to this.  Maybe they haven't
learnt a new natural language since being children.  I find the process
quite similar, except that computers are less forgiving (this is a help,
as it is very difficult to find someone willing to correct each error
you make when speaking, while computers do so by default).

Andrew

Quote:

> I must do an english essay in my classroom about programming, could you
> give me some idea in english please ?

> What do you think about this comment :
> "Leaning a programming language is like learning a natural language.
> The only difference is that you're communicating with a machine not with
> a person."

> Thank you very much for your help.



Sat, 26 Jul 2003 16:56:56 GMT  
 Programming language

Quote:

> What do you think about this comment :
> "Leaning a programming language is like learning a natural language.
> The only difference is that you're communicating with a machine not with
> a person."

Writing a program is like writing poetry in a language of 100 words,
most of them verbs.  You can create all the words you like, but only
if they're proper nouns.


Mon, 28 Jul 2003 12:17:33 GMT  
 Programming language

What about functions?!

Andrew
http://www.andrewcooke.free-online.co.uk/index.html

Quote:


> > What do you think about this comment :
> > "Leaning a programming language is like learning a natural language.
> > The only difference is that you're communicating with a machine not with
> > a person."

> Writing a program is like writing poetry in a language of 100 words,
> most of them verbs.  You can create all the words you like, but only
> if they're proper nouns.



Mon, 28 Jul 2003 16:30:43 GMT  
 Programming language

Quote:



>> > What do you think about this comment :
>> > "Leaning a programming language is like learning a natural language.
>> > The only difference is that you're communicating with a machine not with
>> > a person."
>> Writing a program is like writing poetry in a language of 100 words,
>> most of them verbs.  You can create all the words you like, but only
>> if they're proper nouns.
> What about functions?!

What about them?

Maybe I should have started with "Writing a program in the imperative
style is like", and I intended to mention something about the imperative
style in my original post, but I couldn't make it sound right as I
didn't come up with that phrasing until after I had made my post.  In
the imperative style, the names of functions, the only "words" associated
with functions that you get to create are, like any other name, proper
nouns.

On the other hand, specifying new types is kind of like creating
adjectives.

The functional style and whatever style working in Prolog is like have
different characterizations, but I'm not really familiar enough with
those styles to be able to describe them at all.



Tue, 29 Jul 2003 00:45:34 GMT  
 Programming language

Quote:



> >> Writing a program is like writing poetry in a language of 100 words,
> >> most of them verbs.  You can create all the words you like, but only
> >> if they're proper nouns.
> > What about functions?!
> What about them?

Even in imperative languages, functions and procedures exist.  They are
equivalent to verbs, not nouns.

Andrew



Tue, 29 Jul 2003 16:14:52 GMT  
 Programming language

Quote:

> Even in imperative languages, functions and procedures exist.  They are
> equivalent to verbs, not nouns.

I see function calls that return values as analogous to noun phrases ("the square root of two", "the first
house on the left"), while procedure calls that have side effects are like verb phrases ("turn on the light",
"insert tab A into slot B").

Operations that both return values and have side effects don't correspond so neatly to any grammatical
structure, which may be why so many common programming errors (such as "if (foo = 0) { ... }" in C) can be
traced back to the misuse of such operations.

--sethg



Wed, 30 Jul 2003 02:10:34 GMT  
 Programming language
I am developing a small FPGA cpu and was wondering what small
bootstapable languages are out there. I know of small C and
Forth but what about others?
Ben.
PS. I plan to have a WHOPPING HUGE 24kb of memory free. Well it was WHOPPING
in the Mid 1980's.
--
"We do not inherit our time on this planet from our parents...
 We borrow it from our children."
"Luna family of Octal Computers" http://www.jetnet.ab.ca/users/bfranchuk


Fri, 25 Jul 2003 15:24:52 GMT  
 Programming language

Quote:




>> >> Writing a program is like writing poetry in a language of 100 words,
>> >> most of them verbs.  You can create all the words you like, but only
>> >> if they're proper nouns.
>> > What about functions?!
>> What about them?
> Even in imperative languages, functions and procedures exist.  They are
> equivalent to verbs, not nouns.

I'm sorry, that is not correct.  The name of a function is equivalent
to the title of a set of instructions, which is a proper noun.
Operators are verbs, but not all imperative languages support
user-defined operators.


Wed, 30 Jul 2003 07:04:43 GMT  
 Programming language


Quote:
> Writing a program is like writing poetry in a language of 100 words,
> most of them verbs.  You can create all the words you like, but only
> if they're proper nouns.

Writing a program is like writing an epic ballad in strict iambic pentameter
in a language of 100 words...

Writing a program is like writing a symphony for the kazoo and jackhammer.

--
 `-_-'   In hoc signo hack, Peter da Silva.
  'U`    "A well-rounded geek should be able to geek about anything."

         Disclaimer: WWFD?



Wed, 30 Jul 2003 10:20:50 GMT  
 Programming language

Hmmm. The name of a verb is also a name, but a verb is still a verb.
However, I think the argument about functions being noun phrases that
someone else posted makes a lot of sense.

Andrew

Quote:





> >> >> Writing a program is like writing poetry in a language of 100 words,
> >> >> most of them verbs.  You can create all the words you like, but only
> >> >> if they're proper nouns.
> >> > What about functions?!
> >> What about them?

> > Even in imperative languages, functions and procedures exist.  They are
> > equivalent to verbs, not nouns.

> I'm sorry, that is not correct.  The name of a function is equivalent
> to the title of a set of instructions, which is a proper noun.
> Operators are verbs, but not all imperative languages support
> user-defined operators.



Wed, 30 Jul 2003 17:20:05 GMT  
 
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