[OT] We need a language

Lynn H. Maxson Lynn H. Maxson" <lmaxson@pacbell.net
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.