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Date: -- (:)
From: Thomas Fischbacher <Thomas.Fischbacher@P...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] The boon of static type checking

On Mon, 14 Feb 2005, skaller wrote:

> > So, again, syntax is not by itself an essential feature of the language.
> 
> Sure it is: it is what distinguishes the system from a
> mere library.

But that's precisely the issue!

There is many a system around out there, take FORM, take GAP, take LiE, 
take R, take whatever you want, that provides highly specialized 
functionality in form of a language, whereas it would be 20 times more 
useful to have it in form of a library.

I saw colleagues in string theory wrapping LiE up with expect, just to 
make it scriptable. As if a string theorist should have to waste his time 
with such nonsense.

My point is: a library in virtually any case is much more valuable than a 
new language.

Syntax is just make-up. Superficial, arbitrary, vain. What really makes up 
the character of a language happens beneath.

Say what you want, I consider it as grossly misguided to invent a new 
language just to have "something greater than a mere library".


-- 
regards,               tf@cip.physik.uni-muenchen.de              (o_
 Thomas Fischbacher -  http://www.cip.physik.uni-muenchen.de/~tf  //\
(lambda (n) ((lambda (p q r) (p p q r)) (lambda (g x y)           V_/_
(if (= x 0) y (g g (- x 1) (* x y)))) n 1))                  (Debian GNU)