May 24, 2002
Succintness is Power

Freakin' Paul Graham. I can barely keep up.

Succinctness is Power

Posted by jjwiseman at May 24, 2002 01:50 PM

hmmm...reminds of "Brevity is... wit." .... the sign hanging above the 'Reading Digest' Spelling Bee in the Simpson Episode "Cesspool on the Potomac"

Posted by: bill milbratz on May 24, 2002 07:20 PM

Paul Graham says "It seems to me that succinctness is what programming languages are for." Actually, it seems to me that what programming languages are for is to enable us to explore and clearly express what we mean, realise that meaning as an executing program, and understand and change what we mean later without having to start from scratch. You've said earlier "I place a lot of value on Graham's thoughts on lisp because he's not a fanatic". I'm afraid his recent writings are starting to tend, in my opinion, in that direction. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, after without RMS we wouldn't be where we are now.

Posted by: Alex Moffat on May 25, 2002 06:27 AM

Paul Graham asks if there are any programming languages that are too succinct. Yes: APL. I enjoyed using it for a graphics course back in the day, but the reason it has not taken over the world is that it is too bloody succinct. I don't just mean in the lines/characters sense that Paul wants to rule out (although that's true too --- the program to print out primes

None of this should be taken to imply that Java is not way too bloody verbose.

Posted by: Tim Converse on June 9, 2002 11:05 PM
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