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Conversational Programming Languages
by John D. Mitchell
April 23, 2005
Why aren't we developing programming languages that work more like humans really work?


In Accountability in the Classroom, Eugene Wallingford discusses the notion of accountability of students and teachers in the learning (to program) process:

How would a course in spoken German or French differ? My in-class exercises and discussions pale in comparison to what a foreign language teacher can do so naturally: start a conversation with a student! A classroom discussion can grow quite easily to include many students, because each interaction with a student exposes the student's level of preparation and proficiency. Human conversation works that way.

But, why isn't programming more like that? I.e., why are the programming languages in which we work (not) conducive to real conversation?

Why do we keep trying to shoehorn everything and the kitchen sink into general purpose programming languages? Why aren't we creating real programming languages that work for the given problems?

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About the Blogger

John D. Mitchell is the Chief Architect of Krugle -- a search engine for developers. Along with developing and rescuing distributed enterprise systems, John advises investors and executives on technology and high-tech companies. Over the past 15 years, he has been the CTO of ElasticMedia,, jGuru and the MageLang Institute. John co-authored "Making Sense of Java: A Guide for Managers and the Rest of Us." He was the founder and contributing editor of the "Tips & Tricks" column at JavaWorld. John writes extensively on complex systems, development processes, computer languages and protocols, parsing and translating, and technological business risk management.

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2005 John D. Mitchell. All rights reserved.

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