[plt-scheme] Re: plt-scheme type of language

From: Artyom Shalkhakov (artyom.shalkhakov at gmail.com)
Date: Fri Dec 11 13:27:39 EST 2009

2009/12/11 Shriram Krishnamurthi <sk at cs.brown.edu>:
>>> In general, PLAI does not do a good job of the "isn't"s.  What isn't
>>> meaningful about "strong typing"?  What isn't good about aliasing?
>>> What isn't right with analogies about objects?  Etc.  All these things
>>> have to be gleaned from being in a class taught by the faculty who use
>>> it, since they aren't written down.
>> However, these things have to be written down somewhere.
> I'm afraid you took a different interpretation of "have" than I
> intended.  I meant this as a description of the current state of
> affairs, not as a statement of eventual necessity or inevitability.
> That is, I feel it is *unfortunate* that things are this way, and that
> they can be remediated.

Hmm, sorry for the confusion.

>> Maybe reading Redex book
>> (that is, studying operational semantics, as I see it) would help?
> Not in its current state, I'm afraid.  Right now the Redex book is
> even narrower than PLAI.  (I just ran a course from it this semester.)
> I don't believe there is actually a good PL book on the market (PLAI
> included).  To really do its job, a PL book has to be deeply
> intertwined with programming itself.  (After all, that's where
> languages come from, and that's what they go to.)  At least, this is a
> dominant prejudice behind PLAI, and I expect many people on this list
> take the above parenthetical sentence as tautological.  The current
> book is only a start in this direction.

Okay, things are not as good as they could be, of course.

> Unfortunately, most "advanced" PL books come from and go to
> mathematics.  This is not to say that all mathematics in PL is
> irrelevant; many people who do mathematical PL have profound insights
> into software.  However, even when these insights exist, they may not
> be accessible to people without the right training.

Are you gently implying that the "next step" is to study mathematics? :-)

BTW, I'm sorry for being off-topic.

Artyom Shalkhakov.

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