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posted by ajf on 2008-01-14 at 11:38 pm

In response to Larry Wall's Natural Language Principles in Perl, a comment on Reddit neatly sums up why I've never been comfortable with Perl:

The (implicit?) point is: "People's brains are wired to handle natural languages; the more programming languages borrow from natural languages, the better they'll be handled by human programmers".

As often, imitating nature too literally isn't a good idea: the wheel doesn't imitate paws, planes don't fly like birds, factories aren't wombs, programming languages don't strive on natural languages' ambiguity and redundancy. In all these cases, the human invention operates under a set of constraints radically different from nature's, and what's optimal in one case is inadequate in another.

Related topics: Quote of the day Mindless Link Propagation

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