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Re: don't { use Perl }

by Abigail-II (Bishop)
on Jun 10, 2002 at 16:38 UTC ( #173215=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

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

The speakers of high level programming languages are humans. But they still have to follow lots of silly rules - because otherwise they aren't understood. Not by their fellow humans, but by machines.


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Re: Re: don't { use Perl }
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 10, 2002 at 16:52 UTC
    Higher level programming languages make it easier for humans to write programs, reason about programs, and to communicate with each other about programming. Higher level languages do not do one wit for the machine, which doesn't "understand" the program in the first place. Of course higher level languages are very highly constrained and rule bound, so is the language of mathematics. Nevertheless, both the speakers and the listeners of high level programming languages are humans. Computers aren't necessary in the equation.
      So, when I call 'gcc' it's really a little man inside my laptop that emits the binary?


        Heh. That would be confusing 'translation' for understanding. We often say things like: "the compiler doesn't understand that statement" or some such. But that's just us playing fast and loose. The compiler doesn't understand perfectly valid statements any more than it fails to understand invalid ones. Neither translation of a high level language to a machine language, nor execution of the machine level binary constitutes any reasonable interpretation of "understanding" the program. There is no homunculus required in your laptop to translate or run your C program.
        I imagine him as green, about 3 inches tall, with a little helmet that has antenni comming out of it and when he talks they beep out binary instructions: "beep beep bee-beep beep". Kinda like the space creature that bugged Fred Flinstone every now and then. Wish I could remember his name.

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