This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
Concise languages are better than verbose. Perl fans admire the language for nothing but its ability to express algorithms in a very concise manner. Lately a lot of Java developers started to look at Python, in the same search of brevity... Let's ask ourselves: is brevity always good? It's long known in markup theory of poetry (see: Roman Jacobson, "Poetry of Grammar and the Grammar of Poetry") that the large verbose meters promote noble elevated way of thinking. Hexameter. Classical works on immense beauty and striking depth were written in this meter. "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!" Now limerick. Short, concise, energetic form, but what content does it promote? "There was an old man from Peru, Who dreamed he was eating his shoe. He woke in a fright In the middle of the night And found it was perfectly true." Feel the difference? This is about what is being written in Java and what in your Perl/Python... [ May 26, 2002: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen. - Robert Bresson
Brevity has it's uses. <pre> " The eyes are not here There are no eyes here In this valley of dying stars In this hollow valley This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms In this last of meeting places We grope together and avoid speech Gathered on this beach of the tumid river Sightless, unless The eyes reappear As the perpetual star Multifoliate rose Of death's twilight kingdom The hope only Of empty men" </pre> [ May 26, 2002: Message edited by: Fyodor Myshkin ]
"And remember, when you look into the pit, the pit looks back into you."<br /> -- Anonymous INTERCAL hacker
Greek use of hexameter, compared to limericks, is like comparing chess to football. Each expresses meaning and conflict in a way that appeals to different kinds of audiences. Noble expression is socially complex, or not, depending on context. Shakespeare's 'Cymbeline' or 'Midsummer Night's Dream' are highly crafted expressions of social codes that is explored in a manner the audiences of the time found satisying. It occupied people for several hours, and it confirmed tensions and ambiguities of social order in Elizabethan England. Or that is what Michael would tell us. The film 'Nurse Betty' expresses many of the same ideas as those two plays, but does not exhaust its audience the way Shakespeare probably would. It is also not as popular a film as 'Pulp Fiction' which is more graphically violent and 'modern' and requires less thinking about 'noble' themes. Closer to football than baseball.