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Languages that are not mandarin
From: "Dave Aitel" <dave.aitel () gmail com>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2006 17:42:29 -0400

Mandarin didn't seem that hard to me. You memorize the tones and you
memorize the 2500 characters. How hard can it be? As a parlor trick
(literally) you can chill out at a Kareoke bar and quickly memorize
the chorus of all the mandarin songs and sing along with everyone.
That's pretty much what you do for the english chorus's too, right? :>

Computer languages, imho, being more abstract, are much much harder.
For example, I've spent a long time trying to understand closures in
Ruby. I don't know why, but since everyone says they're the bomb, then
I figured it might be worth some time to see what I'm missing.

Here are some quick links for your clicking pleasure.

http://excastle.com/blog/archive/2005/05/18/1019.aspx
http://martinfowler.com/bliki/CollectionClosureMethod.html
http://ivan.truemesh.com/archives/000411.html
http://geekswithblogs.net/vagmi.mudumbai/archive/2005/09/01/51811.aspx

I still don't understand them. I think they're something that you
really only need for someone more complex than I ever do. I have the
exact same problem with decorators, which are a Python feature for
making your code look really ugly, as far as I can tell.

The other language research I've been meaning to play with is the
CLR's support for Python. I've always felt that the CLR wouldn't be
able to support Python nicely, and from what I can read on the
IronPython lists/documentation (current downloads are a 404)
http://www.codeplex.com/WorkItem/View.aspx?ProjectName=IronPython&WorkItemId=2702
I'm probably wrong.

One of the hardest things in Python is integers - and I still have a
nagging feeling IronPython will screw them up in some way by exposing
the CLR's native types too much to the language. You can demo how
Python has them slightly wrong in various cases still by doing a
len(struct.pack('L',0x01020304))==4 ... this isn't true on an AMD64
box. I think there are places where they do similar things and know
about it. The last thing a Python program wants to see when it thinks
it has a list is a CLR Array type.

If you can write Python in Java (jpython) then you can write it in C#,
but the tricky thing is going backwards and letting Python classes use
C# classes cleanly. I'm not sure this is going to really happen
without lots of wrappers. GTK# versus pyGTK will be very interesting.

-dave
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