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Re^3: Some thoughts around the "is Perl code maintainable" discussion

by Ven'Tatsu (Deacon)
on Aug 14, 2007 at 18:59 UTC ( #632571=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^2: Some thoughts around the "is Perl code maintainable" discussion
in thread Some thoughts around the "is Perl code maintainable" discussion

For example would not the creation of domain specific languages be an example of that syntax/notion matters? Take pattern matching for example. We could express pattern matching directly as finite state machines with states and transition, but the notation for doing so is cumbersome. So instead we use regular expression that are much more expressive, but can be automatically translated into an equivalent state machine. This makes our programs easier to read and to maintain.

I think maybe you are confusing the abstraction with the syntax of the abstraction.

The presence of lack of an abstraction can have a dramatic effect on maintainability. The syntax used to express the abstraction has a far lesser effect.

In JavaScript you can create a regular expression in a Java like re = new RegExp("\\w+") fashion or a Perl like re = /\w+/ fashion. In Perl6 you will be able to select between Perl5 and Perl6 (and maybe other) syntaxes for the expressions them selves. One form might be easier to write or read than the other, or a programmer might know one form and not the other, but any form existing in a language negates the need to program a state machine to do simple (and possibly complex) string matching.

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