A language of my own

Today I was checking out an introduction video to CoffeeScript and it got me thinking about programming languages in general and where they were heading. The thing is, I think I would go in a different direction. Haha, that’s a pretty bold statement and I don’t know that many programming languages to be frank, but the last two I checked out, Python and Coffee Script didn’t have the same values that I think a future programming language should have.

You see if I look back in time ( with my time machine glasses) at first there was byte code, which was the summum of being cryptic, after that there was assembly code, which I manage to pass the class by acting as if I knew wtf it was meaning. C code was already more readable but still pretty hard to juggle with and I ended up with Java / ActionScript / C# which were the most readable in all the languages I had learned. When I say readable in all this I mean closer to the English language. That for me should be a primary value when creating a new language. I think the more readable a programming language is, the less barrier there is to creating code. You wouldn’t need to translate what you think into something else, you think, talk, write and program in the same language, that would be the best I think.

There is all lot of really easy thing we could do to turn Java into something already more readable without changing the syntax. Most of it would just be replacing shortcuts like for if statements “==” would be “is equal to” so

if (myCat == yourCat)

would become

if (myCat is equal to yourCat)

I mean this is a pretty simple example, but push this further and say we add a lot of these changes where we remove symbols like > < =  / ! || && and put words instead, I think it would make code really easy to read. I think that if it is easier to read, it is easier to grasp and if it is that way you can build more complex programs more easily. When all those simple swaps are done we could work on the syntax to make it more like English and then we would have a new programming language. I would like to reclaim the dot (“.”) to mark the end of a sentence like Latin languages.

So yeah I think we should create a new programming language where you have to write more code to get things done but that has less abstractions. That might sound stupid but I think it doesn’t matter, where the language gets longer to write the code editor should pick up and do code completion to speed things up, like FDT does so well for ActionScript.

Anyway, I will probably never do so because I am not a compiler genius, but I think it would be great to head in that direction and see where it leads. Anyone thinks the same? Anyone knows of a languages that tries to do this as its primary objective?

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  1. #1 by Daniel - July 26th, 2011 at 13:51

    I agree that higher level languages make for easier to understand code. I personally really like C#, ActionScript, and Java (in that order).

    However what you are describing sounds waaaay too similar to what Visial Basic was trying to do, and I hate reading that language. Perhaps because you have spaces in your “is equal to” clause. This makes it feel to ambigious and harder to understand what is the comparison. I would at least make it a single word: “IsEqualTo” so that I know it is a single operator. :)

  2. #2 by Sev - July 26th, 2011 at 18:24

    You might love AppleScript. It’s the closest to natural language I know of.

  3. #3 by Mike K - July 27th, 2011 at 00:32

    Be careful what you wish for – check-out COBOL!

  4. #4 by jim - July 29th, 2011 at 03:19

    That would be lingo script all over again, “verbal” as hell.

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