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- Subject: Re: Suitability of Lua as a First Programming Language?
- From: David Given <dg@...>
- Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2009 11:11:38 +0100
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Enrico Colombini wrote:
> I'd correct that to "hard to learn and get used to".
> Lua has a very smooth access ramp. Forth hasn't.
Indeed --- a lot of Forth's much vaunted maintainability and readability
(yes, really!) is that if you don't have absolute discipline with
documentation and design, you end up shooting your own foot off with a
nuclear hand grenade. The only programs that ever work are the
maintainable and readable ones.
That said, it's apparently incredibly effective if you *do* have that
degree of discipline. (It's also the only language I know where you can
fit an entire development shell, including compiler, in 6kB of machine
In addition, it *is* a fantastic teaching language --- not for teaching
programming, but for teaching language and compiler design. I'd
encourage anyone with an interest in the subject to go and design a
Forth threaded interpreter for your favourite architecture. It is a
thing of beauty, and utterly unlike any other modern language today. I
wasn't kidding when I said that learning Forth taught me how to write C;
you will suddenly realise that that everything you've ever learnt is
merely one way of doing things, and there are many others, all equally
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