John Pavlus at FastCoDesign jumps into a new study that looks at the obtuseness of programming languages like Perl. The problem, according to the study, is these coding languages are “so ridiculously opaque that, from the perspective of a novice programmer, a string of characters bashed out by a monkey at a keyboard would literally make an equal amount of sense.”
I remember a computer science professor telling me why he was teaching students on Kodu, Microsoft’s simple, object-oriented game-building program for Xbox 360: “People who want to program don’t fall in love with syntax. They fall in love with making things.”
The piece continues with the paper’s author:
So why aren’t all programming languages designed this way? “I doubt that most language designers meant for their languages to be hard to understand or use,” Stefik says. “The problem is that programming languages are created either by committee or by extreme technical wizards with magical math powers.
Let’s hope it doesn’t stay like that forever.