The Nature of Idioms in Programing Languages

By Xah Lee. Date:

programing history of the day: the idiom craze, is started by perl and Larry Wall, from there we have “pythonic” fk and ruby styles fk.

there are 2 types of idioms: ① that makes algorithmic difference. ② not. Only ① matters. For example, in python, append string 1k times, use list then turn into string.

programing idiom should be ban'd. Only allow those that has algorithmic advantages.

programing idioms, as in natural human langs, are incomprehensible and local, with no universal and permanance advantage.

idioms, plays big part in group formation. You can discern outsiders by idiom. Hither is me, my, family, friend, country, clan. Thither is you. Part of survival instinct.

if your lang, requires lots idiosyncratic idioms to write clear and efficient algorithms, your lang is fk'd.

Here's examples of avoiding idiom in favor of math universal constructs. Else, each becomes greek except to fanboys. In-place Algorithm for Reversing a List in Perl, Python, Lisp, Mathematica

See also: Why Idioms Are Bad

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