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Some thoughts on Newspeak

Gilad Bracha is working on a Smalltalk-derived language. I found some information via Lambda the Ultimate.

Languages that support both inheritance and nesting of declarations define method lookup to first climb up the inheritance hierarchy and then recurse up the lexical hierarchy. We discuss weaknesses of this approach, present alternatives, and illustrate a preferred semantics as implemented in Newspeak, a new language in the Smalltalk [GR83] family.
Gilad Bracha, On the Interaction of Method Lookup and Scope with Inheritance and Nesting (pdf)

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Is programming, or will it ever be, as simple?

EETimes.com – Inventor forges fresh approach to writing software:

“Ten programmers could not produce the same program to solve a problem because programming is an artful approach. I want to eliminate the art and make it an engineering approach,” said Morrison.

How many times has this been tried? Is it possible? What does it even mean? I’m certain that ten engineers faced with the same problem (like, a bridge) would produce different solutions, so are engineers some sort of artsy hippies that need engineering applied to them?

I wonder if it’s the same in other fields. Do mathematicians get things like “We should use an engineering approach to eliminate art from geometry theorems”?

del.icio.us bookmarks for August 16th, 2007 through August 19th, 2007

Re: Unqualified Reservations: What’s wrong with CS research

Mencius Moldbug’s article What’s wrong with CS research gets it completely right on programming languages:

Choosing the best notation is the entire problem of programming language design, and this problem is neither mathematical nor scientific. A programming language is a user interface for programmers, and if you can reduce UI design to math, science, or any formal process, call Apple, not me.

I have noted before that there has been a lot of research on type systems but very few studies on programming languages usability, and this article provides a good explanation for it.

Although, as a small criticism, he gets dynamic higher-order programming completely wrong.