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David Ness has composed another parallelogue, this time taking on Paul Graham's Succinctness is Power. I (still ;-) happen to enjoy this form of point-by-point discussion quite a bit.
Succinctness is not the easiest metric indeed, albeit the Minimum Description Length principle probably can by applied to data transformations (i.e. programs) as well as to data descriptions.
The challenge for a language designer is to provide maximally powerful "regularity extraction" (abstraction) capabilities (like Lisp macros, higher-order functions, vector operations &c.) while keeping the number of supporting "primitives" at the minimum (like K does so amazingly well).
From that perspective, lexical succinctness is important primarily insofar as that the more compact code is, the easier is it to visually recognize (and factor our) regularities.
Addendum: Alle Jahre wieder ... — 2002-05-26-succinctness
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