Hieratic Language

In LivingInaMonument, I was thinking of UnixShell commands: ls, pwd, cd, mkdir, chmod, that sort of thing. But a HieraticLanguage can be any language that fits this mold. Those languages in which simple concepts cannot be expressed with austerity and readability, those nonorthogonal languages where coordinate concepts cannot be expressed simply, those languages that demand concepts be expressed in one and only one way to be expressed at all; these are the HieraticLanguages.

One test is: can a child learn it? One of Smalltalk's design goals, I think, was the creation of a ProgrammingLanguage simple enough that children could use it for nontrivial tasks.


Any examples?

hieratic (adjective)

1) Of or associated with sacred persons or offices; sacerdotal.

2) Constituting or relating to a simplified cursive style of Egyptian hieroglyphics, used in both sacred and secular writings.

3) Extremely formal or stylized, as in a work of art.

ThankYou, Mr. Webster! This is exactly what I mean. A HieraticLanguage is one that is accessible only to the initiates in the mysteries. I learned Unix by apprenticing myself to a second-year engineering student and his friends. I suppose this was my introduction as well to the then-inchoate idea of PairProgramming.


SymbolProject is a wiki devised for the purpose of collaboratively describing functions, concepts and operations with symbolic glyphs. The project is larger in scope, but has a logical structure in mind for its development. -StevenCooney

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