The Nature of Idioms in Programing Languages

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

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

there are 2 types of idioms: (1) that makes algorithmic difference. (2) not.

Only (1) matters. For example, in python, intead appending string ten thousand times, use a list and append to list then convert it to string.

programing idiom should be ban'd. Only allow those that have algorithmic impact.

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 clan. Thither is you. Part of survival instinct.

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

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Programing Idioms and Style