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

Re: why tail recursion matters and why Java isn't it, was Re: lisp performance was Re: problems with lisp

Landin. Where can I pick up the points? :-)

-- Matthias

P.S. I will run a HOPL course in the spring, and Landin will be the 
second point
on our list.

On Thursday, September 4, 2003, at 04:14 PM, Guy Steele - Sun 
Microsystems Labs wrote:

>    Date: Thu, 04 Sep 2003 21:54:45 +0200
>    From: Pascal Costanza <costanza@iai.uni-bonn.de>
>    To: Guy Steele - Sun Microsystems Labs <Guy.Steele@sun.com>
>    Cc: matthias@ccs.neu.edu, ll1-discuss@ai.mit.edu
>> But if by "a matter of
>> taste" you mean that what leads to greater productivity may differ
>> from one programmer to another, then that is an objective matter that
>> is in principle subject to measurement, and one can furthermore ask
>> other questions, such as: if one were to choose a single aesthetic
>> category and force everyone to use it, which choice of category
>> would maximize total productivity?  Or, if we can afford to support
>> at most three aesthetic categories, which set of at most three
>> would maximize totla productivity?
>    Why would you want to force someone to use a single aesthetic 
> category?
>    Why would you want to limit the number of admissible aesthetic 
> categories?
> The usual ugly pragmatic constraints.  It costs money to support
> multiple categories, for a variety of reasons, ranging from the
> cost of testing the extra software for the multiple categories
> to the cost of programmer A not being able to maintain the code
> of programmer B when he gets hit by a bus.
>    If the success of specific aesthetic categories varies from one
>    programmer to another, wouldn't it be best to let everyone decide
>    themselves what aesthetic category to use in order to maximize
>    productivity? Of course, it should be a well-informed decision.
>    The problem with the state of computer science today isn't that 
> everyone
>    uses Java. The problem is that everyone thinks that there should be 
> only
>    one language.
> I certainly don't think that---but I also don't think
> that having a separate language for every programmer
> is the optimal design point, either.  I suspect that
> the optimum is somewhere in between.  Maybe 700 programming
> languages is the right number.*
> --Guy Steele
> * History quiz: ten brownie points to whoever first correctly
> explains why I chose the number 700 here.