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Tue Jul 17 01:21:33 CEST 2007

human naming nature

One of the things that's nice about a compositional language like CAT
is that they force you to aggressively factor. Simply because programs
become to hard to understand if you don't. Factoring is really
identifying (naming) substeps. In a compositional language, factoring
is really totally arbitrary, from a machine point at least. Not for
the programmer. Since function arguments are not named, names have to
be introduced elsewhere.

This is that extra bit of 'meaning' in a program which transforms it
from the mess a computer just executes, to some meta-executed thing
represented in a human mind.. Those are really not the same. Being
able to program something and 'knowing' how it works are different
things. The 'knowing' is hard to explain sometimes.

It's just a force of (human) nature, really..  For a program to be
actually readable, a bit more than the connectivity (topology) is
necessary: the information encoded in the names an sich seems to help
the human brain to understand the connectivity, or at least give it
some analogy.  Maybe a bit like embedding a topological thing in a
geometry to make it more 'real', programming is embedded in the real
world of thoughts by associating some native language to it. The two
ways to do this are either the lambda calculus (lexical scope) or
combinators.




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