Weighing in on XSL / Standards

John Cowan cowan at locke.ccil.org
Mon May 24 23:02:49 BST 1999

David Megginson wrote:

> Paul Prescod would probably tell us that Python is 100 times simpler
> than C; personally, I'd suggest that any programming language with
> garbage collection is automatically 10 times simpler than one without,
> especially for newbies.

In some ways Standard C++ is simpler than pre-standard, because
one can avoid the low-level C stuff for which O-O replacements
are now available.  There was a column in C/C++UJ to that effect
> Isn't ADA 100 times more complex than Standard C++, or were the people
> who told me that just disgruntled?

Hey, hey!

	Everything Java does, Ada does better,
	Everything Java does, Ada can do!

See Tucker Taft's paper on AppletMagic, the Ada 95 compiler for
the JVM, at http://www.appletmagic.com/ajpaper/index.html .
I especially like this remark from the Conclusion:

# [W]ith one applet that we translated, after implementing full
# constraint checking in the Ada to Java compiler, we immediately
# began to reap the benefits of Ada's notion of range checks.
# The first Constraint_Error that was raised identified a small
# error in the hand translation from the original Java applet
# into Ada. After fixing that error, the next Constraint_Error
# raised identifed a deep logic error in the original Java applet,
# which ultimately turned out to be due to
# the randomization mechanism used to initialize the game. 

Ada and Algol 68 have both gotten an undeserved bad rap for
complexity, mostly due to the complexity of the *documentation*.
Both made some mistakes (structural equivalence in Algol, 
hardwired multitasking in Ada), admittedly.

John Cowan	http://www.ccil.org/~cowan		cowan at ccil.org
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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