The purpose of a natural language, such as English and Japanese, is to describe facts, thoughts, and feelings. Mankind thinks in the language and the particular language determines the way we think. Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto, creator of the Ruby programming language, asks whether programming languages influence human thought as well.
Matz discusses what makes a good programming language. It helps human thoughts, helps you think better, and makes you a better programmer. For example, assembly language is hard for humans, so higher level languages help human expression. He reviews the five quality factors for program language usability. He takes his general discussion of programming languages to show how well Ruby follows the factors and how he used natural language principles to create a useful language.
Yukihiro Matsumoto, a.k.a. Matz is a Japanese computer scientist and free software programmer best known as the chief designer of the Ruby programming language. Born in Osaka prefecture, in western Honshu, he was a self-taught programmer until the end of high school. He graduated with an information science degree from Tsukuba University, where he associated himself with research departments dealing with programming languages and compilers. Matsumoto is the head of the research and development department at the Network Applied Communication Laboratory, an open source systems integrator company in Shimane prefecture.
This free podcast is from our Technometria with Phil Windley series.