Lingua Franca: How Our Mother Tongue Changes Our Code

Lingua Franca: How Our Mother Tongue Changes Our Code

In the quest for maintainability, we've tried to make code as readable as possible. But our notion of readability is strongly tied to the languages we learn from birth. I'll walk through an example of a library that made a technical compromise for the sake of making code look like English, and how other natural languages may never have pushed this compromise.

Given at Over The Air 2013 (Ignite Bletchley Park)

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Chris Sinjakli

September 27, 2013
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Transcript

  1. @ChrisSinjo

  2. Ruby

  3. Readability

  4. Monkey-Patch To open up someone else’s class and generally mess

    around with it
  5. Monkey-Patch To open up someone else’s class and generally mess

    around with it
  6. These are not the language features you’re looking for

  7. Rails Date/Time

  8. 1.day.ago

  9. Spanish Lessons

  10. hace(1).dia

  11. Word order is arbitrary

  12. Subject Verb Object (English, Spanish and Object Oriented Languages) cat.play_with(string)

  13. Verb Subject Object (Irish, Welsh, and Functional Languages) play_with(cat, string)

  14. Compromise

  15. Pretending the computer speaks English

  16. The right choice?

  17. Days.ago(1)

  18. (1)day.ago

  19. I still like Ruby

  20. Different approaches