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Exploratory programming, or my 2 ¢ on arc

A lot of people have blogged on Paul Graham's new language, arc, the (perceived lack of) new features it brings, and the intentionally non-PC announcement by Mr. Graham. I don't have much to add to that particular debate. It looks like lisp, with some new syntactic sugar, which is fine by me. I like lisp, but I wouldn't want to use it in my day job. Others no doubt do, and their taste is no worse or better than mine.

I think maybe the development time worked against it, in that some features seem less than revolutionary, because other languages got there first. Now lisp has them too, and maybe even better implemented, I'm not one to judge.

What I take issue with is that Mr. Graham explains the lack of some other features by the fact that arc is for exploratory programming only, and those features are somehow a hindrance for that. I think this is just plain wrong: unicode support will hurt noone in their exploratory programming, it will actually help a lot of people a good deal. Mr. Graham quotes Guido van Rossum stating he spent a year implementing unicode. I very much doubt that that quote is correct, but *even if it were*, so what? That means exactly nothing to the exploratory programmer, and only hurts the exploratory *language designer* which I think may be a little closer to what is going on here.

As an exploratory programmer in any language I've ever used, (I do think Mr. Graham correct in saying everyone is,) I can safely say that features have never harmed me, as long as they did not get in the way when I wasn't using them. Unicode support in python doesn't. In fact, python (my favorite language, *and* the one I'm most fluent in by now, so yes, I'm biased) is absolutely fantastic for exploratory programming, exactly because of its huge standard library, which helps you get to the meat of the task at hand, without having to build your own support library first.

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