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Re: if vs. when vs. and: style question

From: Rusi
Subject: Re: if vs. when vs. and: style question
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2015 19:41:58 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 6:29:45 AM UTC+5:30, Emanuel Berg wrote:
> "Pascal J. Bourguignon" 
> > The success of lisp and unix over the decades shows
> > that simplier tools win on the long term.
> > Contrarily to graphic programming languages (such as
> > UML) or other "experiments", or more complex
> > systems, object-based or other (LispMachines), which
> > will eventually break and be forgotten by most and
> > regretted by few).
> One hundred percent correct! All those silly tools are
> intended so the programmer can be replaced by people
> who cannot program. So far that hasn't happen - and
> I am confident it never will.

Its important to distinguish and orthogonalize two aspects:
1. Linearity
2. Charset

Starting from Turing's paper where he 'created' his machine, the big jump
from normal math to Turing-math (which would later become CS) was linearity.
Turing asks us to imagine a mathematician doing a computation on paper
(shortform compute-er!) and then goes on to show that the paper can be 
linearized  into a 'tape'.

This linearity persists today in our computers whose memories are linear
sequences of bytes numbered 0 to 4G (or whatever).
Likewise files are sequences of bytes.

Then, because we humans dont like linearity too much, we have devices like
- emacs that non-linearizes a file on disk into a 2-D display
- file-systems that non-linearize a block into a file-system
- and so on.

So html for example non-linearizes a linear text.
Unicode (charset in general) doesn't (ok there's bidi codes but ignoring that).

Things like UML are difficult and problematic because of non-linearity not 

There are at least half-a-dozen programming languages and systems I can think of
that are already unicode-capable:

>From venerable to cutting-edge:
APL, Appletalk, Fortress,  Erlang, Python, Julia, Haskell, Agda,

And even Elisp!

*** Welcome to IELM ***  Type (describe-mode) for help.
ELISP> (setq α 1 β 2 γ 3)
3 (#o3, #x3, ?\C-c)
ELISP> (list α β γ)
(1 2 3)


How much costly was that α to type than alpha?? One backslash!!

Add to that the fact that programs are read
- 10 times more than written during development
- 100 times more during maintenance

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