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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.