[PD] [OT] cool book (maybe relevant to list discussion)

Mathieu Bouchard matju at artengine.ca
Tue Sep 13 02:51:12 CEST 2011

On Sat, 10 Sep 2011, Andy Farnell wrote:

> Of the languages I've encountered, maybe over 20 if allowing things like 
> bash and assembly,

They are programming languages just like the others. There isn't a very 
universal line between languages that are for programming and those that 
are not, but usually, being Turing-complete is thought of as the 
tipping-point. This means that anything with a while-statement or a 
if...goto statement in it is a programming language, but there are also 
turing-complete languages that have neither (which means that they can 
emulate while-loops with something else).

> "From ML to C via Modula-3: an approach to teaching programming" which 
> seems like a torturous path to put students through.

I thought you had written «tortuous» but I just realised that «torturous» 
also exists.

Well, I agree, for introductory courses. Later in the curriculum, for a 
course about the diversity of programming languages, weird combinations 
are quite welcome, but Modula-3 is quite redundant nowadays, except when 
trying to teach what programming languages used to look like...

> Anyway, Tate wants to urge this empirical pluralism, that learning 
> languages is good for you whether you use them or not, for purely 
> self-developmental reasons.

Yeah, and probably more so for programming languages than natural 
languages, because the former potentially differ a lot more from each 
other (unless you pick a bunch of similar ones...).

| Mathieu Bouchard ---- tél: +1.514.383.3801 ---- Villeray, Montréal, QC

More information about the Pd-list mailing list