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On 12-Aug-05, at 8:44 PM, Jamie Webb wrote:

I do not consider C to be an excessively symbol-heavy language (there
are some I would drop, but not many).

I don't have any problem remembering what the different C symbols do.
My problem is remembering the syntactic binding order. Maybe it's just me,
but 12 levels of syntactic binding (or is it more?) is just too many.

I remember APL from my youth with a certain fond nostalgia. It had the advantage of not starting with an arbitrary character set, but rather designing a character set which more or less fit the semantics. I don't remember ever having much trouble remembering what a given symbol did, because most of them were well designed visually. Reading J code in ascii, on the other hand, drives me crazy. In any event, APL did not load down your memory with syntactic binding rules. One rule fit all :)

I don't J/K/Kx is dead, either, although it's only high profile in one industry as far as I know. It's a very wealthy industry. J, like many other languages, probably would have done much better had it not cost so much money (yes, I know it is now being given away again, but that particular horse has already bolted.)

Anyway, those who are fond of languages with a lot of symbols (and really complicated syntactic precedence rules) might be interested in the work Sun is apparently doing developing "Fortress" (that's fortress as in fortran, not as in security, by the way). See <>