R Hansen says: >It isn?t book learning that I am sensitive to Joe. It is ?just? book learning that I am sensitive to <snip> And quite frankly, if I had to choose one or the other, I would choose art.
Its not that I deny folk-art is a big part of programming language design. How else could we have the thousands of programming languages in the world today that differ by little more than their mix of features? I can also imagine how significant the designer felt when they moved away from FORTRAN's X = X + 1 to COBOL's ADD 1 TO ACCOUNT-TOTAL.
I suppose you could call that an advance in the state-of-the-art. The significant advances, though, would tend to be those with solid mathematical thinking and motivation behind them. I think Backus' Turing Award lecture made clear he thought likewise.