EDIT: oh new page. We were talking about this:
Aphrodite I fully understand what you mean, and I don't want to say you're wrong in any way. My brain even think you're very very right.
But I feel exactly like when I was on the GameMaker studio forums, learning how to script the surface system only to display a very simple shader.
I can learn that, I learned the surfaces. It's even very interesting and I'm glad I did.
And I'm sure I'll be interested in learning the lerp, cosp, and exponential formulas as well.
My point, and again I fully understand it doesn't make any sense for very advanced users, is the "good enough".
If set for specific actions ("slow" for angle different from "slow" for scale), I'm quite sure it can be done.
My English being average, maybe smooth wasn't the best word to use, but I'm sure you see what I want to say.
I had way more control on shaders when using GameMaker. Same on controls, handling, sound, etc... (Penelope started as a GMS project for 4 months).
But implementing a shader in GM takes one hour. In C2? 30 seconds.
If your goal is to craft a complete game, speed is the most important parameter, way over perfect control on expressions.
Damn, it took me 2 freaking years, full time, 7/7, to make the Penelope early access even always looking for the fastest way to do things.
So, at the end of day, I still think you're very right in your philosophy (learning things for real = way better), but also that both can coexist for maximum noob-friendship and speed.