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Ahh...! Finally - the answer to a question that has riddled me for some years now:
  1. Q: Why has it been necessary for Perl that it's inventor be a linguist?
  2. A: Because Perl implements the tagmemic worldview as a computer language 1.
    Ever heard about that worldview from anybody not being a linguist? There; see?
From The Tagmemics Page:

2. SURVEY OF TAGMEMIC DISCOURSE PRINCIPLES

The overiding goal of tagmemic inquiry is a movement toward an emic understanding of a text or experience. Emicity and Eticity are thus defined:
ETICITY: surface, distant, reality-as-appearance, outsider objectivity. Initial etic inquiry typically yields particles whose wave or field relationships (i.e., situatedness) to other particles are undetected, indistinct, or ambiguous and which must be identified before progress can be made toward emic understanding.

 
EMICITY: deeper, reality-as-experience, insider-subjectivity. Etic inquiry, informed by incrementally more accurate and comprehensive account of particles as understood and experienced within wave/field realationships by insiders, yields ever closer approximation of alien meaning.

2.1 SIX STARTING POINTS

A. Tagmemic Discourse Theory (TDT) searches for a natural way into a text or experience (i.e., looks for the appropriate tagmeme , or unit-in-context, that will provide fruitful pathways of inquiry to discover other features of the phenomenon under investigation)
    SUPPOSITION: One needs or must want to find a way in and brings along a finite set of goals.
...
Aha. tagmeme, or unit-in-context - now, what's perl's tokenizer about? Exactly.

The above might also explain why the Perl 6 development process is like it is - all its language elements are units-in-context, and the finite set of goals may not yet be finally determined...

Thanks for the clue :-)

update: Doh! 'twas all said before, so it just took me nearly ten years to get it (the tagmemic bits, that is).

1) please correct as appropriate

--shmem

_($_=" "x(1<<5)."?\n".q·/)Oo.  G°\        /
                              /\_¯/(q    /
----------------------------  \__(m.====·.(_("always off the crowd"))."·
");sub _{s./.($e="'Itrs `mnsgdq Gdbj O`qkdq")=~y/"-y/#-z/;$e.e && print}

In reply to Re^9: PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community by shmem
in thread PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community by merlyn

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