Re: (TC304.2313) AND/OR: antediluvian views

From: Alain LaBonté  (
Date: Mon Jun 12 2000 - 09:39:14 EDT

À 15:00 2000-06-10 +0200, K I Larsson a écrit:
>Assuming that "antediluvian" - in Alain's e-mail - means BP (i.e. before
>PC) I think I recall the & and | operators as being the favourite
>expressions of those days, in e.g. some database query languages.
>Personally I very much favour odd-looking symbols as operators rather than
>plain-text-looking sequences of letters; since it more forces a user to
>check the exact working of a specific operator in the manuals.
>(It could also be noted that & and | are used in the macro language of
>WordPerfect 5.1 DOS - still my absolute necessity for serious word
>Of course the world has become more complicated nowadays, when there is
>both "bitwise" and "logical" operations. Lucky I am not programming any
>more (except . . . ).

[Alain] Long live APL!!! It makes very compact and rigorous programs. It
used to be my pet language when I was a student. Alas, too many people find
it cryptic. Personally I am all in favour of pictograms everywhere, as far
as possible (it avoids many linguistic problems, in particular in
multilingual environments -- such as airports). It requires, unfortunately,
a lot of education, as most of them, beyond a certain number of elementary
ones, are not obvious nor intuitive at all. But it is worth the effort,
this kind of education. Btw Canada (in fact Michel Cartier, Université du
Québec à Montréal) once has proposed an iconic grammar, but it has not come
of age yet (the relevant ISO committee found it interesting but did not go
forward in implementing it in user interface standards).

Alain LaBonté
working also with SC35, and coeditor (with Bernard Chauvois and Fred
   Bealle) of ISO/IEC 9995-7 (Symbols to represent keyboard functions)

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