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Re: Continuations

On Sun, Aug 10, 2003 at 07:50:11PM -0400, Dan Sugalski wrote:
> I'll add a #7:
> Most programmers (above average or not) don't write interpreters 
> because they neither need nor want to write them. Occasionally it's 
> useful to embed some sort of scripting engine into a large app (been 
> there, done that, quite useful) but for most things the average, or 
> even above average, programmer does there's just no need to write an 
> interpreter.

This all hinges on what you mean by "interpreter".

I think Anton is using an overly broad definition here.  In some respects,
average programmers are writing interpreters every day each time they
write a SAX filter or some DOM code to parse an XML file[1].  Casting the
problem in this way, *more* programmers are writing *more* interpreters
today than was the case 10 years ago.  They are also writing interpreters
for smaller and smaller domains.

Alternatively, you could cast the net the other way and say that many
average programmers are using XML toolkits to avoid writing interpreters,
because grammars and interpreters are "hard".  They would be much better
served using some other syntax or creating little languages to handle
these tasks.


[1] Even if you don't agree with this overbroad interpretation, many of 
    these programmers are making all of the classic mistakes of
    underimplementing an interpreter...