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I've been reading this list for a while now(don't post much), and as a
humble student, I've been noticing the use of a lot of jargon. I know that
it makes it easier to communicate big concepts concisely to have a nice
large specialized vocabulary, but its also enough to make your head spin
trying to read it sometime(especially when it gets into such laden
terminology as continuations, closures, parametric polymorphism, and
various kinds of typing, etc.).
I've read the book our computer science department uses in its programming
languages class(which was far better than the class(Concepts of Programming
Languages, Sebesta), but I could still cover a lot of territory.
Unfortunately, when I look stuff up, I tend to find a discussion would be
perfectly obvious if I understood the stuff, but its all written at expert
So, is there a resource out there that concisely and understandably
EXPLAINS the terms used, and gives good examples of WHAT they mean, and why
(someone somewhere) considers them to be useful. Unfortunately, I tend to
see some vacuous intuitive handwaving, that leaves me feeling informed, but
nonetheless incapable of acting on the information. I don't WANT to think
I'm stupid, and I assume the vast majority of these things are really not
that complicated to understand, its just I don't have the years of background.
Also considering how this list is about bringing "academics" and
"industry" closer together, so that all those good academic ideas could
find a home in the wide world, maybe a resource that explains these sorts
of things for the "working" programmer, would be one product that would
help cross the bridge. Of course I realize with many things(like macros,
and higher order functions, and monads, and what all) there are some
political differences(typing holy wars) that would make parts of it hard to
write, but just go ahead and explain details. Also, perhaps actual
languages that implement these ideas.
Just a thought. Maybe its out there on Google and I've just never found
it, maybe I am incompetent :).