Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Bruce Eckel on Thinking in a Different Language

GatorJUG has (or had, I can't find the archives at the moment) a podcast of Bruce Eckel talking about programming languages. The point he made (or at least the one I was most interested in; he talked about a couple of things) was that you think differently in different languages.

One example he gave was about dynamically loading a class at runtime. In C++, it's possible (he said), but not something you're likely to even think about doing. In Java, it's quite easy, making it something that you'll probably run across at some point. And while you can dynamically create classes at runtime in Java, in Python it's a very simple exercise. Using each language gives you a different insight on solving problems, and mixing languages can be a real boon to solve a given problem, given the strengths of each.

He also mentioned the type differences among C++, Java and Python, and how loosening up type restrictions greatly changes the nature of solving some problems.

He also mentioned the applicability of this idea to natural langauges as well. This is something I've been greatly curious about, and is one of the reasons I'd love to learn a 2nd language. I'd love to see just how different expressing given ideas or thoughts are between two languages, and whether thinking in another language would change those ideas, somehow. (Maybe next month...)


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