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Using Simple Language to Program Computers

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naperlou
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Not sure why?
naperlou   7/23/2013 9:36:25 AM
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The idea of using natural language to program computers is, perhaps, not a very realistic one.  The issue is information content.  Natural language has a fairly low information content.  Frankly, the regular expression that you show in the figure is not something I would want to deal with in debugging. 

Writing code is actually a very small part of programming a computer.  First, you need to determine the requirements.  Then you need to develop a design that satisfies those requirements.  Then you start to code.  In many environments, the amount of time devoted to coding is 10% to 15% of the time of a project. 

 

Charles Murray
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Re: Not sure why?
Charles Murray   7/23/2013 4:56:19 PM
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I do wonder about debugging -- if it would be more difficult. If I haven't written the code myself, I would think it would be harder to figure out where I may have made a mistake, or added a rogue keystroke.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Not sure why?
Nancy Golden   7/23/2013 5:39:22 PM
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Good point, Charles - it is always harder to debug someone else's code. I wonder if it generates comments along with the code. I know it's still in its infancy but it will also have to get a lot better than 70% accuracy to become useful.

naperlou
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Re: Not sure why?
naperlou   7/23/2013 5:58:09 PM
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Chuck, we already have systems that will take a system level diagram, with details of the interfaces provided by the user, and generate code.  These are very seldom used.  I worked for companies that did this, for example Rational (now a part of IBM).  So, I wonder if a natural language system would be used. 

At the higher level, fourth generation languages allowed easy access to data.   I am dating myseld here, but the most successful was Focus.  We had secretarties that could put together complex queries and reports with this, with reasonable training.  If you limit the domain, you can do this.  Of course, that is only becuase someone has written basic code to implement what you want to do.

BrainiacV
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Re: Not sure why?
BrainiacV   7/24/2013 10:03:06 AM
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I'm skeptical as well. The big question is whether it will contain a DWIM module?

Do What I Mean (DWIM) vs Do What I Say (DWIS) is always a problem.

But anything to aid the creation of Regular Expressions is always welcome.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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...And, on a sarcastic note.....
OLD_CURMUDGEON   7/26/2013 12:26:36 PM
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While I realize it's NOT the same, when I read the title and the beginning text, the first thing that popped into my mind was, OH!, WOW!, they've upgraded COBOL to the 21st Century, since if one knows the classic COBOL, it pretty much "read" like a novel.  IF ever there was a wordy language, COBOL was it.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: ...And, on a sarcastic note.....
Ann R. Thryft   8/21/2013 8:24:17 PM
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Funny, what came to my mind first was Forth, since it was supposed to be based on natural language.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Re: ...And, on a sarcastic note.....
OLD_CURMUDGEON   8/22/2013 8:07:01 AM
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Ann,

It's really ironic that you mentioned FORTH.  I was thinking that also, but opted for a more "ancient" language to demonstrate my point.  I remember purchasing a book on FORTH years ago when it was the language du jour, and reading through much of that book, I decided that FORTH was not for me.  Never finished the book either.

Fast forward a few decades.  I was cleaning out my personal home library, and came across the book on FORTH.  And, so I added it to the pile of books to be donated to the local public library.  Maybe someone else is capitalizing on my largesse, but I expect that it is collecting dust on the shelf titled, "Arcane & Esoteric"

ADIOS!

tekochip
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Graphical Language?
tekochip   8/22/2013 8:38:45 AM
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I've used a few graphical tools for generating code and they are quite good,  not to mention that you also have an extra level of documentation.  There's a free tool that performs fairly well, devFlowcharter.  Perhaps the real natural language would be graphical?
 
 
 


Ann R. Thryft
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Re: ...And, on a sarcastic note.....
Ann R. Thryft   8/26/2013 1:12:07 PM
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OLD_CURMUDGEON, I wondered if anyone would respond to my mention of FORTH. I worked for Forth Inc when they were designing software for the first handheld tracker for FedEx. It was an interesting time.

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