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Re: Shootout Stuff

  . . .
> Well, I suppose it might be pretty difficult for some people with many
> years of experience to let go, 'unlearn' and just stare at the code as
> if you didn't know it.  I'm not trying to knock scheme.  It's plenty
> obvious that people who take the time can get quite used to reading
> the code - people are adaptable.  What may be true, is that for the
> untrained eye (which probably doesn't include anyone on this list -
> keep that in mind before saying "but, but, but..."), following those
> parentheses might be just a bit more difficult than other structures,
> visually.  That's all.
> I still think it would be interesting to try out my proposed
> experiment with a variety of visually diverse languages.

Just a cautionary note based on my experience -- there might be more
than you expect.  I've been a non-visually-oriented person in an
increasingly GUI world for many years now.  The received wisdom from the
human factors community is that "everyone prefers (and is more
using visual interfaces".  However, some of us are, I suspect, actually
wired a little bit differently.  I *still*, after years of bondage to
Windoze, etc., find GUIs slow and error-prone.  For example, I am more
productive using mzscheme+emacs than I am using Drscheme (and I hope
in the effort to keep Drscheme "modern" the PLT developers don't forget
keep the command line interface equally tool-rich for those of us who
don't cotton to WIMP interfaces).

It would not surprise me at all to find that some people find nested
parenthesis structures more natural and comfortable at a fairly deep
perceptual level.

BTW, has anyone read Neil Stephenson's (I think -- the author of
little essay on contemporary computing?  I think the title is "It All
With the Command Line", and he has some interesting, if wildly
thoughts on this subject.

 -- Bill Wood