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Re^3: Perl for big projects

by dsheroh (Monsignor)
on Jul 13, 2006 at 17:35 UTC ( #561016=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^2: Perl for big projects
in thread Perl for big projects

"Write only" means a person understands perfectly well what each individual statement means, but piecing together the big picture of what's going on can take an inordinate amount of time.


Given a passage of text in a language whose grammar is unlike any with which you are familiar (like, say, Chinese) and a dictionary translating the words of that language into one in which you are familiar, it doesn't take that long to reach the point of knowing what each individual word means, while still having no idea of the overall meaning. For me, at least, Chinese fits your definition of "write only" quite well, provided I have a Chinese-English dictionary available.

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Re^4: Perl for big projects
by Anonymous Monk on Jul 13, 2006 at 18:06 UTC
    Hmm. I still think that misses the point. A person armed with only a Chinese-English dictionary won't be able to create a sensible text (to people fluent in Chinese). Whereas a program (write-only or otherwise) won't run correctly unless it is properly structured. In other words, you need to know Chinese before you can create it. And if you did know enough Chinese to create sensible sentences, and Chinese was a write-only language, then you would *still* have trouble reading what you wrote.

    Or stated another way, "write-only" is a one-way process. To describe something as write-only you need to show it takes a disproportionate amount of time to decipher something, compared to the time it took to create it. The Chinese language isn't an example of this, because once you learn it, you'll be able to read it easily. An MD5 hash is an extreme example of the opposite. The process of creating the hash is simple, but turning a hash into a text is nearly impossible.

    I'll leave the question of whether Perl is "write-only" to the philosophers, but comparing the "write-only" nature of something to unfamiliarity with Chinese is completely bogus since it tries to skirt the issue by redefining it.

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