Odersky, Armstrong, Syme

There is an interesting video with a discussion of Odersky, Armstrong and Syme about programming language. My favorite part is by Armstrong around 3 minutes before the end of the video:

  • There should be smart repositories / version control systems that know about the language
  • Instead of optimizing your code of a solution to a problem, making the code unreadable in the process, write the solution in a (possibly solution-specific) high-level language, and then write a compiler for this high-level language that emits optimized code.

The second suggestion is basically what I will be doing with my next Android phone project by implementing large parts of it in Babel-17, and tweaking the Babel-17 compiler / interpreter to yield acceptable performance. The first suggestion I already had a lengthy discussion about with a former colleague of mine who thought that for example “git” is good enough as it is. “Git” is definitely great, but I also can imagine specialized repositories. For example in interactive theorem proving, a repository that knows about the structure of proven lemmata and so on would be immensely helpful to the user, I think.

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