in reply to Re: thoughts on perl language
in thread thoughts on perl language
It is quite interesting to compare perl with english, both of which are used in the realm of machine and mind, respectively.
They are all very simple, very beautiful yet very powerful languages.
1. Both are substantially simple and concise, without redundant decorations. AND, the goodness of this type of simplicity and conciseness is based on the premise that they could express things clearly, accurately and not cause ambiguousness, though that is not absolute.
Some other languages can also be very simple, but they often lead to different meanings and confusion, which makes that kind of simplicity useless.
Only simplicity can build complexity; complexity only builds collapse.
Simplicity and conciseness are signs of male, yang, positiveness and essence whereas redundancy and decorations are signs of female, yin, negativeness and surface.
There exist serveral hundreds of irregular verbs and a lot of irregular plurals in english. That is great. In this universe, exception lies in everything, e.g. a sheep with three legs, a man with mirror vitals. Brain-dead regular rules make no sense.
Also, I think the preposition words in english very powerful, which make complicated problems simple and have saved people much time and effort when expressing. In some other languages, there are few preposition words, which makes those very cumbersome and heavy.
2. One does not need to know all of the knowledge or techniques to wield both. Just by learning a substantially basic knowledge, one can use them well and get the job done. But if one wished to use both of them expertly, he has got to make an effort. There is absolutely no shortcut to an expert. Oh, at now, I remembered some desktop scattered with many 'shortcuts', which could subconsciously arouse the innate laziness of human beings.
3. Both are easily extensible. The knowledge the human beings have mastered is very limited when compared with the unknown. Therefore, to explore the unknown world, a live language must have such a feature that it can easily grow up, i.e. it must be capable of creating new words and importing new features easily. Some dead languages hardly possess this vital feature and difficult to extend thus would fall into disuse, inevitably. Do not forget that the extendibility of perl and english comes from their SIMPLICITY.
4. Both comply with the priciples of tim today. English has rich words and 'bags of synonyms'. The richness of english words is based on its substantial simplicity and conciseness, as I mentioned in section one. Due to the 'bags of synonyms' in english, one can choose to express his meanings with synonymous words, which could have subtle differences of course. Likewise in perl, one can as well employ different modules or functions to achieve one same task, although there could be slight or significant performance differences. When considering some rubbish languages, however, there is nearly no second way to express one thing --- you have got to employ the insipidly settled words or syntax in one changeless way under all cirsumstances.
5. At last, I would like to discuss the beauty of these two languages. It could be a bit difficult for a native english speaker to tell if english is a beautiful or the most beautiful language amongst all of the language systems on Earth. I have learnt six languages, oriental and western and I can safely conclude that english is a very beautiful language, but I would not say it is 'the best' as the superlative form is often reminiscent of the words 'wrong' and 'absolute'.
Towards what is beauty, different people have different opinions. One thing considered as 'beautiful' in A's view can be totally meaningless and invaluable in B's, and vice versa.
In the place where I live, people consider white things are beautiful. So the flour is added brightening agent making it pure white to meet people's requirement of 'beauty'. The natural flour should present the color of slight grey or amber but never 'pure white'. Needless to say that kind of flour will harm the health. On the shelves of the supermarket are the 'beautiful foods' put in 'beautiful boxes' often companied with 'beautiful aroma'. Unfortunately, those foods provide no nourishment. All of those are not truly beautiful and they just have a falsely 'beautiful' surface appearance. People also tend to consider graphics is more 'beautiful' than text. Too many 'beautiful things' from worldly views are poisonous.
Perl and english has TRUE beauty in it. Shallow people often think they are 'ugly' just at a single glance as both languages look too immediate and concise on their surface appearance without 'romantic decorations'.