[buug] Wow. The bug that made me switch to python gets addressed (Maybe!)

Paul Ivanov pi at berkeley.edu
Mon Apr 1 22:26:32 PDT 2013

Ian Zimmerman, on 2013-04-01 21:19,  wrote:
> http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=417999#18

just shy of 6 years since original report, that's impressive!

On the other hand, you've been in a better place.  Here's a small
study which demonstrated that Perl was indistinguishable from a
programmer language who's syntax was randomly generated:

Andreas Stefik, Susanna Siebert, Melissa Stefik, and Kim
Slattery: An Empirical Comparison of the Accuracy Rates of
Novices using the Quorum, Perl, and Randomo Programming
Languages. PLATEAU 2011. [1]

We present here an empirical study comparing the accuracy rates
of novices writing software in three programming languages:
Quorum, Perl, and Randomo. The first language, Quorum, we call an
evidence-based programming language, where the syntax, semantics,
and API designs change in correspondence to the latest academic
research and literature on programming language usability.
Second, while Perl is well known, we call Randomo a
Placebo-language, where some of the syntax was chosen with a
random number generator and the ASCII table. We compared novices
that were programming for the first time using each of these
languages, testing how accurately they could write simple
programs using common program constructs (e.g., loops,
conditionals, functions, variables, parameters). Results showed
that while Quorum users were afforded significantly greater
accuracy compared to those using Perl and Randomo, Perl users
were unable to write programs more accurately than those using a
language designed by chance.

I originally found out about it through Greg Wilson of Software
Carpentry [2], but here's a link to a post that he made about it
originally [3], and a follow up to that post from the original
authors [4].

1. http://ecs.victoria.ac.nz/twiki/pub/Events/PLATEAU/Program/plateau2011-stefik.pdf
2. http://software-carpentry.org/
3. http://www.neverworkintheory.org/?p=197
4. http://www.neverworkintheory.org/?p=211

Paul Ivanov
http://pirsquared.org | GPG/PGP key id: 0x0F3E28F7

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