Language bias

Dr. J. Van Sckalkwyk (external)
Tue, 17 Jan 1995 08:19:01 SAT

Dear Chris

>     The basic unit of "stuff" in the system is the cell.  A cell can be 
> thought of as a "black box", with a number of unidirectional inputs and 
> outputs.  A cell's output depends solely on its inputs.  (In other words, 
> cells can't hold any data inside them.  This might be an arguable point, 
> but its just the way I was thinking of it.)

I'm fairly happy with this. The good bit is that you mayn't have to 
duplicate cells if multiply invoked by other processes.

>     Internally, cells are composed of a group of primitive cells 
> (support provided by the language), as well as any found useful in other 
> cell libraries.

A question. Is the Russian doll structure necessary? i.e. just 
because your basic unit on this level is the cell, why not consider 
the possibility of having other constructs at lower levels?

>     I'd imagine that a number of people are already griping about how 
> such a system could possibly go fast enough.

This is not necessarily a problem at all. Optimisation is usually 
best applied to small critical portions of code. Provide we do not 
slavishly apply homogeneous constructs at all levels, the system will 
work well.

>     To find the proper way to distribute cells over the availible 
> [sic] processors, AI or Genetic Algorithms could be used to "learn" 
> or "evolve"  the best possible speed (or a close approximation ..

Yes. Remembering that requirements may change rapidly and 
dramatically, and we do not want to spend too much time deciding what 
to do next!

>     The other point people will be complaining about is how to represent 
> current-style programs in this new system, as it will probably take 
> people longer to think up a good distributed algorithm than a sequential 
> one.

Are the two approaches necessarily mutually exclusive?

Bye, JVS.<