[erlang-questions] OT: Please highlight me about JAVA C++ as high level languages just like erlang.

Richard O'Keefe ok@REDACTED
Fri Jan 22 03:13:22 CET 2010

On Jan 22, 2010, at 4:26 AM, Angel wrote:

> So im really displeased to see everyone still closely tied to the  
> "old classic
> high level definition". its dificult to place erlang over a plethora  
> of not
> certainly better languages if all of them are considered equal.

It doesn't matter what we call them, it's STILL difficult to place
Erlang amongst a vast range of other languages.

Erlang isn't even close to APL2 as a notation for matrix calculations.
APL2 isn't even close to Erlang as a notation for concurrency.
Neither of them can hold a candle to C as a notation for programming
16-bit microcontrollers, although one could imagine a derivative of
Concurrent Pascal that would have been even better.

There simply isn't a linear ordering.
The most you can say is that one language is higher level than
another for certain things.

Mind you, it is clearly possible to classify some languages as bad
for any practical purpose.  Intercal, Brainf*ck, and the whitespace
language spring to mind.

I recently solved a problem by writing
  - a data file
  - an AWK program to compile that into C
and running the C program.  Doing the whole thing in C would have
been slow, because it would have been doing at run time decisions
that were better made at meta-compilation time.

This kind of thing blurs the "level of a language" idea even
further.  C on its own: bad.  AWK on its own: worse.  AWK+C: excellent.

I think it gets us further to say "Language X does this, language Y
does that, for problem P, what language X does helped me get my
program working quicker".  The Grand Convergence (where Java and C#
and Eiffel and others are borrowing ideas from the functional world
and from each other) means that "language Y is no good because it
doesn't have feature F" is a permanent truth only for dead languages.

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