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Ok, I think I get it now if I look at the "Arc approach to language design" instead of "Arc in its present form". The problem isn't to come up with a better language, it's to set a good example of the better language production process and in doing so perhaps get a better language as a byproduct. Here are the morphisms I see:

a) Programs in "high level" languages can fail to be shorter than their lower-level equivalents. The simple solution: be merciless in keeping the important things short!

b) The overlooked problem in language design is high-level language brevity.

c) The "language design" problem that needs to be solved is... not sure about this one. I'm guessing it's the fact that the rate of change in the field is putting more programmers into the role of language designers at an increasing rate and anything that helps them avoid bad decisions based on ignorance is significant.

d) deliver informally as possible: when designing a new language, write enough to make the goals clear, address issues in a discussion group and put the code somewhere without sweating organizational details like setting up code repositories, bug tracking systems, regression frameworks, etc.

e) crude version 1: implement the minimal stuff using an existing system and don't worry about the fact that to the unaware it may seem just like a trivial program in that system.

f) iterate rapidly: don't get bogged down by things like release processes and backward compatibility. Just focus on getting feedback, experimenting, measuring and looking for improvements.

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