I think the idea is that if your programming language keywords are all
English anyway, you might as well have them make sense *as* English.
That makes it easier for English-speakers to learn, without making it
harder for non-English speakers - except for the fact that it's
different from other programming languages they might already know.
But that is going to be an issue regardless of the programmer's
language, and so much of P6 is new that I don't think a
differently-named switch statement is going to be anywhere near the
top of the list of concerns.

On 12/9/07, cdumont <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Richard Hainsworth wrote:
> > <snip>
> >
> >> I don't know why, this given... when sounds so 'English' without
> >> really being that
> >> English.
> >>
> > The construct <given ... when> sounds better in English than <switch
> > ... case ...> because:
> > a) Switch is more commonly used in English as a noun, eg., Use the
> > switch to turn on the light. But because English can use nouns for
> > verbs and adjectives as well, eg., 'Switch on the light' or 'he is a
> > switched-on type of guy', it seems ok to use it in for control
> > purposes. Except ... the verb is really 'switch on' not 'switch'. Also
> > we have 'switch over', 'switch from', 'switch between' etc. where as
> > 'switch' as a verb as in 'she just switched boyfriends' means
> > exchanging one for another, not choosing between alternative cases. So
> > really 'switch' as a verb is really more like 'toggle'. So when an
> > English person (or at least one that cares about the use of language)
> > sees 'switch' in a programming language, there is the feeling that
> > something is missing, or not quite right. And there is absolutely no
> > linguistic link between 'switch' and 'case'. If I am uncomfortable
> > with 'switch', 'case' really sucks. In fact, whenever I work in
> > language other than perl, and 'switch' is the preferred construct, I
> > always have to check the syntax to work out what goes where.
> >
> > b) 'Given' is more commonly used in English as a verb form. 'He was
> > given an award'. Also, it is in the correct form for use at the
> > beginning of a sentence, eg., 'Given three choices, he chose the most
> > profitable'. So we have something that looks and feels like it is a
> > part of normal English speech. The 'when' part is also a natural tag
> > in English indicating one of several alternatives. 'Given' can be used
> > as noun (the power of English! as a language) as in 'we have a number
> > of givens, but the issue is still unresolved'. This is much rarer than
> > the use of 'given' in verb uses.
> >
> > c) You might ask, why bother? Just choose words, and since switch is
> > the most common one, just use it. Well, computers dont care whether
> > you use words or symbols, so long as semantics can be uniquely
> > extracted from syntax, that is, the computer knows uniquely what you
> > are trying to say to it. But the reality is that humans dont work that
> > way. From the time of FORTRAN and COBOL, the aim has been to choose
> > words over symbols so that they have semantic meaning for the
> > programmer. It makes it easier for programmers to write descriptions
> > of algorithms and operations, and to understand the logic of the
> > descriptions they are writing. This reduces development and debugging
> > time. Perl has been so successful, and my programming language of
> > choice, because where words have been chosen, they have very similar
> > semantics to normal English. That helps me in my programming.
> >
> I've never said that switch ... case was better than given ... when
> or that switch ... case was even a good construct.
> I have said that given ... when sounds weird as a construct
> (not mentionning the use of past participle and on top of that of an
> irregular verb).
> I understand the meaning and I can get over it
> but is proliferation of English idioms, words a good idea?
> There're bunch of words that could describe the same idea
> in a sligtly different manner.
> Perhaps writting a la smallTalk could be the solution.
> getting rid off all shortcuts and change them into explicit description
> entities and write english sentences, not programs.
> This could be nice but I will first have to learn English.
> Anyway, I will write my own 'Lingua::Given::Francais' with avec ...
> lorsque^^:
> (well, if I can -  ^^; xx 1000 )
> --
> シリル・デュモン(Cyrille Dumont)
> our work is the portrait of ourselves
> tel: 03-5690-0230 fax: 03-5690-7366
> http://www.comquest.co.jp


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