Chapter Notes

Bentley (1998) suggests the following alternative yardsticks for language design: orthogonality, generality, parsimony, completeness, similarity, extensibility, and openness. Some of these criteria (e.g., completeness, generality, extensibility) may be subsumed under expressibility. Parsimony may be treated as one aspect of simplicity. Another criterion sometimes mentioned is convenience (how convenient, suitable, or appropriate a language feature is to the user). We treat convenience as another aspect of simplicity.

The parsimony-convenience trade-off is nicely illustrated by two-valued propositional calculus, which allows for 4 monadic and 16 dyadic logical operators. All 20 of these operators can be expressed in terms of a single ...

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