[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Small time coding [Was: Re: About Visual Basic [Was: Industry versus academia]]

Geoffrey Knauth wrote:

> If making the hard stuff easy is the goal, are we looking for something 
> like a programmer's Mathematica?  That is, you'd express a problem in 
> mathematical terms, ask the computer to search the archives for an 
> approved algorithmic plugin that solves it within parameters of cost 
> and performance, and the computation would succeed or fail based on the 
> availability of an existing implementation.

Bill Gosper used to say that what would he would find truly useful
would be the *inverse* of Mathematica (or, as he'd put it, of
Macsyma).  You want a program that takes as its input a term, and
tells you what is interesting about it.  For instance, you might enter
a number to which it responds, "Ah yes -- that's pi^2/e with a few
bits on the side".  Such a program would be the ultimately expansive
code generator.  A non-deterministic language, too.