Candygrammar



candygrammar
language
A programming-language grammar that is mostly syntactic sugar; a play on “candygram”. COBOL, Apple Computer’s Hypertalk language, and many 4GLs share this property. The intent is to be as English-like as possible and thus easier for unskilled people to program. However, syntax isn’t what makes programming hard; it’s the mental effort and organisation required to specify an algorithm precisely. Thus “candygrammar” languages are just as difficult to program in, and far more painful for the experienced hacker.
GLS notes: The overtones from the 1977 Chevy Chase “Jaws” parody on Saturday Night Live should not be overlooked. Someone lurking outside an apartment door tries to get the occupant to open up, while ominous music plays in the background. The last attempt is a half-hearted “Candygram!” When the door is opened, a shark bursts in and chomps the poor occupant. There is a moral here for those attracted to candygrammars.
[Jargon File]
(2004-09-23)

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