Fri, 20 Jul 2007
"More intuitive" programming language syntax
Chromatic says that these arguments are bunk because programming language syntax is much less important than programming language semantics. But I think that is straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.
To argue that a certain programming language feature is bad because it is confusing to beginners, you have to do two things. You have to successfully argue that being confusing to beginners is an important metric. Chromatic's article tries to refute this, saying that it is not an important metric.
But before you even get to that stage, you first have to show that the programming language feature actually is confusing to beginners.
But these arguments are never presented with any evidence at all, because no such evidence exists. They are complete fabrications, pulled out of the asses of their propounders, and made of equal parts wishful thinking and bullshit.
http://retractionwatch.com/2014/07/18/the-camel-doesnt-have-two-humps-programming-aptitude-test-canned-for-overzealous-conclusion/ Addendum 20160518: Bornat has retracted the paper mentioned above, which was never published. He says:
In 2006 I wrote an intemperate description of the results of an experiment carried out by Saeed Dehnadi. Many of the extravagant claims I made were insupportable, and I retract them. I continue to believe, however, that Dehnadi had uncovered the first evidence of an important phenomenon in programming learners. Later research seems to confirm that belief.In particular, Bornat says “There wasn’t and still isn’t an aptitude test for programming based on Dehnadi’s work.” This retracts the specific claim that I quoted above. The entire retraction is worth reading.