[plt-scheme] Teaching Scheme

From: Doug Williams (m.douglas.williams at gmail.com)
Date: Mon May 3 09:42:46 EDT 2010

As pointed out in your paper, the use of terms compiled versus interpreted
is a long-standing, high-level generalization of programming languages.
There are languages like FORTRAN and C that essentially go out of their way
to bind things early specifically so they can be efficiently converted into
machine language - i.e., compiled. Other languages like LISP (or Scheme) and
Python go out of their way to delay binding for flexibility - which
confounds efficient compilation to an extent. [And, yes the language
designers often had exactly those distinctions in mind in designing specific
languages - particularly those on the compiled side.] I personally find the
distinction useful and definitely not nonsensical. I would say ignoring the
conventional terminology is as bad as literally embracing them. Just my 2

On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 6:50 AM, Shriram Krishnamurthi <sk at cs.brown.edu>wrote:

> Dear Mr. Williams,
> The phrase "interpreted", when applied to languages, is nonsensical.
> Think about it for a minute and it should be clear to you.
> The notion of programming language paradigms is also, in my opinion,
> largely nonsensical:
> http://www.cs.brown.edu/~sk/Publications/Papers/Published/sk-teach-pl-post-linnaean/<http://www.cs.brown.edu/%7Esk/Publications/Papers/Published/sk-teach-pl-post-linnaean/>
> I'm sure you have the best of intentions, but I have no idea what it
> is you're actually trying to accomplish -- in particular, why are you
> trying to reconstruct information that is already abundantly available
> on the Web?
> Shriram
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