Why

This is a discussion on Why within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Has anyone ever wondered why in just about every programming lanague that uses dictionary words for keywords they are always ...

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    Why

    Has anyone ever wondered why in just about every programming
    lanague that uses dictionary words for keywords they are always
    english, i may not be making sense, but many of the people that
    develope these language are not american so why are they in
    always in english? Are the compiler just making a comparison, i
    wouldnt think so because I have seen other program taht were
    clearly written for people who do not speak english but yet the
    code still is in english? Is english just the choosen language or
    am i missing something?

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    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    I believe it's just because it's become more or less the standard language for programming. Correct me if I'm wrong anyone who's a bit more englightened on the subject than I.

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    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    English was good enough for Jesus, so it's good enough for me.

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    Other languages suck.

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    I have actually put some thought into this very issue. The thing is, English is quite a compact language if you think about it. Keywords are straightforward and don't need to be qualified with some sort of prefix in order to make sense. This differs from other languages such as French, which, among other things, has no concept of "it", introducing all sorts of punctuation into keywords in order to make them linguistically acceptable.

    That said, there's not really any reason why keywords can't be localized by a compiler in order to aid beginners in actual programming rather than having to learn English first. The disadvantage to this would be that source code would be localized and thus require every compiler to be able to understand these "foreign" synonyms.

    Essentially, it would be a bit of chore to manage.

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    Registered User hk_mp5kpdw's Avatar
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    Plus all those languages that insist on assigning a gender to every possible type object suck. What do I care if it's a female plate or a male rock or something stupid like that? Forget that, it's just a simple plate and a simple rock, no gender involved.
    "Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods."
    -Christopher Hitchens

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    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hk_mp5kpdw
    Plus all those languages that insist on assigning a gender to every possible type object suck. What do I care if it's a female plate or a male rock or something stupid like that? Forget that, it's just a simple plate and a simple rock, no gender involved.
    And how

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    PC Fixer-Upper Waldo2k2's Avatar
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    besides the genderless nature of the english language, english is also the unofficial language of commerce. It could also have to do with some historical roots also, many major programming languages were developed by people who spoke english.
    PHP and XML
    Let's talk about SAX

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    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    I wouldn't necessarily say engish is the "unofficial" language. I work for a multi-national company, and our default language for everything is english. I think this is common in most parts of the world because, for instance, French is only spoken by a very small percentage of the world. English on the other hand is the language used by many countries from birth. Then again, there are probalby more chinese or spanish speaking people than anything, but you'd have to program with funny symbols and all that damn punctuation in those languages.

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    I would think that it's simply because English is so common. As far as English being more straightforward, I wouldn't think so. A language like Japanese is much more concise and expressive (in my opinion).

    Also, I remember reading somewhere that English comes the closest to becoming the "universal language".

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    ... arjunajay's Avatar
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    I have read in some research paper reviews etc, that some so-clled 'gender languages' are far better than english in programming.
    eg: Sanskrit ? (In news papers ??).

    Besides english may be the 'universal language'; but both French and spanish(!!) are very popular too?
    Edit: Why do you say French is not popular? (Eventhough I personally don't know french).
    Last edited by arjunajay; 06-24-2005 at 06:10 AM.

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    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    Umm... because mainly only people in France and a handful in Canada speak it?

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    ... arjunajay's Avatar
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    that's a point...

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    A fair few in the former French colonies in Africa do as well.. But Ober ignores it mainly because of the Canadian link.

  15. #15
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    I've not been to Africa, but all of the art dealers from Africa that I've come across (a significant number, from many different countries) are all very fluent in French. Then again, I don't know that there is much of a software industry in Africa...

    Besides, they also use French in south Louisiana.
    The word rap as it applies to music is the result of a peculiar phonological rule which has stripped the word of its initial voiceless velar stop.

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