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In Praise of Scripting: Real Programming Pragmatism

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1 Author(s)
Ronald P. Loui ; Washington University in St. Louis

The academic programming language community continues to reject the change in programming practices brought about by scripting. We need a programming language pragmatics to go past the analysis of syntax and semantics in the same way that linguistics studies perlocution and illocution. Pragmatic questions are not the easiest for mathematically inclined computer scientists to address. They refer by nature to people and their habits, sociology, and the day's technological demands. An industrial psychology literature, apart from computing, has sometimes addressed questions of this kind. But this kind of study must become part of programming language theory within computing. It's the importance of just these kinds of questions that makes programmers choose scripting languages. The author recommends that scripting, not Java, be taught first, asserting that students should learn to love their own possibilities before they learn to loathe other people's restrictions.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 7 )