I previously had posted on SDMB-GQ re: e.z. & eclectic language, so this may be considered the “sequel” though NOT a rehashment (hopefully).
Also, I decided to bring up this Q, in case nobody has ever thought of proposing such a study. But I’m only starting this thread. I’m not sure I’m qualified (as an amateur) to respond to responses. In fact, I’m more interested in feedback on the issue, which is:
I haven’t yet heard of any programming language (or for that matter, national cultural languages) ever having been subjected to a truly-controlled study (or survey - call it what you will). Or has there been such a study conducted?
Here’s a simplified proposal:
Challenge Larry Wall (author of Perl) and two more popular-language authors to create an optimal programming language which has power and eclecticness, yet is written in simple English (e.g. DO xxx TILL xxx = xxx) and avoids crypticness as much as possible. Give a reasonable deadline.
Assuming three such authors agree to such challenge, here’s the next step (upon completion of their writing the respective languages):
Solicit 30 intelligent students who have never learned any programming languages before (and thus are without preconceived-bias). Request that they participate in a study comparing the user-friendliness of programming languages.
Divide them into 3 groups of 10 each
Keep the identities of each of the 30 students secret from all the rest.
Request that Group A students learn both:
Larry Wall’s newly-minted programming language
Bill Gates’ newly-minted programming language
Request that Group B students learn both:
Larry Wall’s ditto
John Doe’s ditto
Request that Group C students learn both:
Bill Gates’ ditto
John Doe’s ditto
As each student finishes learning both languages, request that s/he vote on which language s/he found easier to learn.
Repeat the above study/survey with a second group of 30 students.
The contestant whose language wins the most votes would be the winner, & thumbs-up to his/her language.