A common-accepted “hard thing” in programming is naming things: variables, function, files, and more. Are there programming languages that have been designed to reduce naming things?
The examples I’ve come up with so far include:
- Spreadsheets. I don’t know if they were designed to reduce naming, and I think several modern spreadsheets allow named ranges, but still: one can get by without naming anything.
Visual programming languages. (Thanks, @goodger!) Here, too, I don’t think any of these have been designed with the express purpose of reducing naming, but maybe?
Perl’s special shortcuts (Thanks @bio_end_io_t!) I was unaware of these, but this looks like what I had in mind. I think bash has some similar constructs? Then the next question is: does it make programming easier (i.e. thinking more about programming and less about naming) or harder (i.e. naming things is documentation).
APL (Thanks, @molloy!) I haven’t dug into this at all.
Other examples or ideas?
EDIT: Fascinating responses so far…I’m learning a lot! Some follow-up questions:
- Is a spreadsheet the only example of something that automatically gives (bad) names to everything? Has this been done in a text-based language?