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Re: use octets; and "escaping the piranha's"

February 11, 2000 23:15
Re: use octets; and "escaping the piranha's"
Message ID:
Tom Christiansen (lists.p5p):
>>Same with Perl.  It is advertised as a programming language, while it
>>is not [I assume you know what "I" mean by a programming language ;-].
>Something mendacious, clearly.

Ilya wants his programming languages to be formally specified.
Because Perl doesn't have a formal specification, it's not a programming
language. He thinks.
A million people, it seems, can be wrong.
Whatever they're doing with it, it's apparently not programming.
Maybe it's just giving instructions to a computer.
Maybe it's just specifying code.
But whatever that means to you, it's apparently not what it means to
Ilya, because you can't formally define what it is.

Perl is, however, and I hate to say this, a programming language `for
the rest of us.' When it comes down to it, a small percentage of
programmers are theorists, and those that are not are glad of this.
It's a language that's easy for programmers to use, not for computers to
understand, (look at perly.c and toke.c!) and no amount of whining is
going to change this.

When it comes down to it, whether you can formally define it or not
programming languages because they're formally defined. They use them
because they have a job to do. 

Ilya, if a formal spec is so important to you, you have a number of
choices. You either write one - you've got the source, it's not difficult to 
derive - or you move to a language for which this isn't a problem for you. 

Telling people that Perl isn't a programming language is unhelpful,
irrelevant, duplicious and incorrect. It creates nothing but confusion
and frustration, and is of no benefit to anyone at all. If you want to
be of benefit, I do not want to see you do that again.

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.
- Kahlil Gibran Perl Programming lists via nntp and http.
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