[OT] We need a language
Lynn H. Maxson
Lynn H. Maxson" <firstname.lastname@example.org
Fri May 30 07:49:02 2003
I didn't want to weigh in on this, somehow violating my lurker
(and "moron") status, but it's starting to sound too much like
an intelligent discussion. I can't really speak to Scheme, Perl,
Python and the others individually, only generically. Strong
versus weak typing simply indicates the dependence upon
implementation "convenience" imposing itself upon language
Arguing over language, primarily the matter of which form to
imposed on equivalent substance, ignores the implementation
as if one were independent of the other. I would argue that
implementation restrictions, particularly three of them, offer
greater barriers to progress.
One, the use of source files instead of a source database
based upon data directory/repository. Two, the requirement
that we limit a compilation to a single object module when we
could just as easily compile an unlimited number with an
equally unlimited number of object modules on output as a
single unit of work. This would allow us to use the software
to do truly global checking as well as provide as single point
for the synchronization of source changes across modules.
Three, to allow the unordered input of program units,
statement groups as introduced in fourth generation
If we did this, then we would not use a compiler, which is
probably the biggest single handicap in software development.
Instead we would use an interpreter which allowed us to
process the entire source composing multiple modules,
including up to an entire operating system, coupled with
dynamic testing. Then when it said that all parts were
working together properly, we could then optionally produce
compiled object modules instead of interpretive code. The
point is whether you get interpretive or compiled output
should be a programmer option, not one dictated by but
dictated to the implementer.
When you take implementation restrictions out of the
language then you allow the language to reach their fullest
potential. At that time you have the means to establish a
comparative linguistic metric. Until then they will continue to
be crippled by implementation-only restrictions.