Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
Don't ask to ask, just ask
 
PerlMonks  

Re: Re: don't { use Perl }

by hsmyers (Canon)
on Jun 10, 2002 at 13:07 UTC ( #173103=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: don't { use Perl }
in thread don't { use Perl }

When I read your remark:
It's good to broaden your horizon, but I don't give to much weigth to knowing lots of languages. Small domain languages can be useful, but the added value of knowing more general purpose languages rapidly decreases IMO
I immediately thought of Claude Levi-Strauss' remark "Language conditions thought." and wondered if you would agree or not?

–hsm

"Never try to teach a pig to sing…it wastes your time and it annoys the pig."

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
•Re: Re: Re: don't { use Perl }
by merlyn (Sage) on Jun 10, 2002 at 14:53 UTC
    I immediately thought of Claude Levi-Strauss' remark "Language conditions thought." and wondered if you would agree or not?
    Didn't his brother or cousin go into genetic research? I mean, as a kid, growing up, I was always hearing something about "Levi-Strauss Genes".

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

      That's twisted<g>!

      –hsm

      "Never try to teach a pig to sing…it wastes your time and it annoys the pig."
Re: don't { use Perl }
by Abigail-II (Bishop) on Jun 10, 2002 at 13:11 UTC
    Since I don't know that remark, let alone its context, I've no opinion about it.

    Abigail

      Well since I can't lay my hands on the context (and must admit to the possibility that it was Noam Chomsky and not Levi-Strauss) I'll have to make do with yet another quote:"Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about." by Benjamin Lee Whorf. Which I've always applied to computer languages even though both (I think) were intended to describe what linguists would call 'real' language. To hack the words of my betters, while language may express the solution, it limits the solution set as well. This leads me to suggest some value in knowing more than one language. Hence my curiosity over your view(s).

      –hsm

      "Never try to teach a pig to sing…it wastes your time and it annoys the pig."
        Oh, I certainly didn't say there is no value in knowing more languages. But the added value of knowing more goes down quickly. That is, you get more value out of knowing your first language than out of knowing your second, which has more value than knowing your third, etc.

        I also made the exception for "small domain" languages. Languages that are suited to do a specific task very well. Examples of "small domain" languages are TeX, sed, sed, gnuplot, but also "languages inside languages", like printf formats, pack formats.

        Maybe it's just the way I work, but generally when I need to solve a problem, I first think up an algorithm, and a general outline of the program. Only then I write a program. It will mostly be in Perl (because that's the language I like), but it will lead to a similar program as the one I would have written in, for instance, C. Details will certainly differ, but not the approach.

        Abigail

        The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (on linguistic determism) has been either refuted outright (in its strong version), or shown to be essentially devoid of content (weak version). In terms of programming languages, you do not have to use (or to have ever even learned) a functional programming language to apply the concepts of functional programming (and s/functional/OO/). The programming language you choose (meaning general purpose, not specialized niche languages here) doesn't limit the solution set so much as it limits the solution set that can be expressed naturally in that language. Think about it: C is not an OO language, nor does it have hashes as a primary type; but with it you can write new languages that do.

        If anything, the Sapir-Whorf hyposthesis is simply backwards: What and how we think shapes our language. The Innuit may have more words for snow (but nowhere near the 40 or so claimed by some reports, more like 7 to 10), but not more concepts or recognitions of different kinds of snow. We just require more descriptive phrases where their language uses simple or compound words. When differences in snow types are a more important part of daily life, one might expect such huffman-like encodings to be reflected in the language.

        If "Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about.", how can it happen that from time to time a new concept emerges out of the blue?

Log In?
Username:
Password:

What's my password?
Create A New User
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: note [id://173103]
help
Chatterbox?
and the web crawler heard nothing...

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others rifling through the Monastery: (6)
As of 2021-05-12 07:46 GMT
Sections?
Information?
Find Nodes?
Leftovers?
    Voting Booth?
    Perl 7 will be out ...





    Results (125 votes). Check out past polls.

    Notices?