Subject: Re: Maintaining Minority Languages ( was Re: A small survey (if you have  couple of minutes))
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Sun, 02 Sep 2001 15:21:02 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp,comp.lang.forth
Message-ID: <>

* Erann Gat
> The Forth seems pretty cryptic by comparison.  What's that 'then' doing
> by itself off at the end?

  Pardon me, but when you learn a language, you learn a language, and when
  you know a language, you know a language.  It really is this trivial.

  If you neither learn it nor know it, what business do you have commenting
  on it at all?  Do you think languages are designed for its non-users?  Do
  you think anyone _cares_ what non-users think about their languages?  You
  behave just like those immature tourists who visit foreign countries and
  laugh at street names, signs in shop windows and newspaper headlines.
  Imagine someone calling German "pretty cryptic" and "what's that verb
  doing by itself off at the end?"  Germans have no problem with it, so
  what _is_ the big deal to you?

> Postfix is very unintuitive to most people because it has no analog in
> natural language.  You can say "a plus b" to mirror infix, or "the sum
> of a and b" to mirror prefix, but "a and b, the sum of those things"
> sounds awfully contrived.

  Just because you never figured out how to use RPN calculators does not
  mean you have any right to make universal statements like "unintuitive"
  and "unreadable" or "cryptic".  Some of us find infix unnatural and both
  prefix and postfix equally easy to deal with.  Some of us are simply able
  to learn things quickly becase we can accept what we get on its own terms
  and premises.  If you cannot do that, do not blame what you have not been
  able to learn and internalize because of a childish desire to ridicule
  things before you understand them.

  The real question when it comes to using a language is whether you are
  able to _think_ in it.  If you cannot _think_ in the language, you are
  bound to run into so many problems that it is entirely irrelevant which
  language you are not thinking in.

  I find it rather curious that you should wake up from a long absence and
  start bad-mouthing not only Common Lisp, but Forth and a bunch of other
  languages, too.  Do you seriously believe this is smart?  Do you actually
  believe every language should be for everybody, that are no differences
  among people that manifest themselves in how they prefer to think and
  write when they want to express their problem-solving abilities?  Do you
  think there are no problems that lend themselves to particular languages?
  All of this flies in the face of the genesis and evolution of languages,
  so all you do with your inflammatory nonsense is to look like a moron in
  _several_ language communities.  What is this good for, Erann Gat?