Worst ideas/features in programming languages?

ClapTrap clap at trap.com
Mon Oct 25 22:05:06 UTC 2021

On Monday, 25 October 2021 at 12:22:51 UTC, Ola Fosheim Grøstad 
> On Monday, 25 October 2021 at 10:55:43 UTC, claptrap wrote:
>> I'm saying it probably initially came from boolean algebra in 
>> maths. Or maybe even electronics, there was a history of 
>> boolean logic being expressed with symbols before programming 
>> languages even existed.
> Yes, and that has been evolving as well. Often times they had 
> to make do with what the typograph had available when setting 
> their papers. (Like turning an "A" or "E" upside down.)

Well probably they had their own notation on actual pen and 
paper. But the fact that when coming to type setting they 
preferred an upside down 'E' over writing a word makes it look 
like there is something appealing in writing the expressions 
symbolically that you just don't seem to grasp.

>> Programming languages and natural languages have vastly 
>> different evolution. People are not subtly changing 
>> programming language syntax all the time as a means of self 
>> expression.
> I don't think this is true. Programming language syntax evolve 
> at a higher pace than natural language, and programmers bend 
> the syntax whenever they get a chance to suit their own taste 
> (self expression).

They are adding about 1000 new words to the English dictionary 
each year and many of those are new meanings for existing words.

And that's just the stuff that makes it in.

Programming languages are not even in the same race.

I am constantly having to ask my kids (18 & 22) and their friends 
what some word or phrase means, (and sometimes I wish I hadn't 

>> That's the issue I have with what you're saying, I dont think 
>> language designers are making syntax choices in order to look 
>> cool.
> The designers don't decide which ones of the languages that 
> catch on. What programmers adopt determines the direction of 
> language evolution. There are thousands of programming 
> languages. That is why culture and identity is a force in this 
> evolution process.

Do programmers really think to themselves "I'm not using Pascal 
because i'll look like a douchebag writing my boolean expressions 
that way"? I dont see it. I can see people being swayed by 
language syntax, (I personally dont like overly wordy languages 
like pascal), but I dont see people making that choice based on 
what they assume other people will think of them. I mean the only 
other people who will likely see your code will be people using 
the same language, so like who cares?

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