17th August 06:05
Why drive a Jaguar when there are so many other useful vehicles out there?
Eric J. Wingler (email@example.com)
Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics
Youngstown State University
One University Plaza
Youngstown, OH 44555-0001
28th August 05:17
Eric J. Wingler answered:
Eric Wingler's answer is concise, but not necessarily helpful. Since no
one else has tried to answer, let me try.
Computer languages are a lot like human languages -- they allow us to
communicate with each other. In the case of computer languages, they
allow us to communicate with a computer. They allow us to tell the
computer what we want it to do. (And, less often recognized; they allow
the computer to communicate with us; to give us the result we want, or
at least tell us why it can't do it.)
Just as there are hundreds of human languages, there are hundreds of
computer languages. In theory, one language would be enough. In
practice, most languages are special-case solutions. They grew out of a
need to express certain concepts. So, we have computer languages that
especially good at math, or data manipulation, or graphics, or
controlling some physical piece of equipment. When the language suits
the problem, it is easier to express what you want done.
Languages evolve (both human and computer). A language that started out
being used for one express purpose will grow and change to be used for
other purposes. Once people learn a language, they don't want to change.
They would rather add on or graft in bits and pieces from other
languages, often on a rather ad hoc basis (contractions, slang, jargon,
acronyms, etc.). To an outsider, the resulting lanugage looks like a
mess; to a native speaker, it all seems perfectly logical.
Logo started out as a computer language for teaching young children
about math, logical thinking, and programming. It did (and still does)
work superbly for this purpose. But it has also evolved (as so many
computer languages have) into a general-purpose language. Just as you
can say anything you like in English or French, you can program any
computer problem in C or Logo. One just happens to be more popular than
There are certain problems and concepts that can be expressed easier in
one language than another. In human language, you sometimes find a
single word in one language that takes whole paragraphs to express in
another (and still doesn't get it exactly right). Or it may be a poem
that works beautifully in one language, but comes out stilted and
awkward in another.
The same happens in computer languages. Even though languages have
evolved to be equivalent, some concepts are just easier to express and
work with in Logo. Since Logo has its roots in Lisp, it tends to be
better at linguistic processing than math.
"Never doubt that the work of a small group of thoughtful, committed
citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever
has!" -- Margaret Mead
Lee A. Hart 814 8th Ave N Sartell MN 56377 leeahart_at_earthlink.net
15th September 02:12
A bit off the topic, but we need also remember that when Logo (Logo is
a word, not an acronym, according to Wallt Feurzeig - who named Logo -
aim to require as few keystrokes as possible.
(Yes, I WAS there (I built the first Logo turtle))
Logo existed for a moderate amount of time before turtles, BTW.
(More Logo history available, if desired :-> )
"sntntlog" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message news:<1fd78$41ae3f70$4103ac89$19065@allthenewsgrou ps.com>...