From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Noel Chiappa) To: email@example.com Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: [TUHS] roff(7) [ and other related stuff ] Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2022 23:02:17 -0500 (EST) [thread overview] Message-ID: <20220102040217.CE36D18C08E@mercury.lcs.mit.edu> (raw) > From: John Cowan > Why use C syntax? What was wrong with Fortran, Lisp, or Cobol syntax, > extended to do what you wanted? Why do all hammers look basically the same? Because there's an 'ideal hammer', and over time hammer design has asymtoted toward that 'ideal hammer' design. One can't just keep improving the design indefinitely - diminishing returns set in. So I suspect there is, to some degree, a Platonic 'ideal syntax' for a 'classic block-structured' programming language, and to me, C came pretty close to it. I except LISP from that assessment, because LISP is built around a fundamentally different model of how computations/algorithms are organized, and C and LISP aren't directly comparable. But that realization points to a deeper bug with the 'Platonic ideal language' concept above, which is that languages are fundamentally, albeit at a very deep conceptual level, tied to the basic concept of the computing hardware they are to run on. C/COBOL/FORTRAN/etc are all for von Neumann-like (in a broad sense) computing engines - a single thread of computation, which happens sequentially. But we've pushed that paradigm about as far as it can go, we're into diminishing returns territory on that one. The future, starting with the hardware, will be very different - and will need quite different languages. (Go, from what little I know of it, is a baby step in this direction - it is intended to make it easy to use multiple simultaneous loci of execution, making use of the mutiple cores that are common now.) I suspect we'll be shifting to radically different paradigms, 50 years from now - massively parallel computing meshes (think Connection Machines on steroids - or the human brain), and those will use fundamentally different computing paradigms, and programming languages for them, which in turn will need very different syntax. Noel
next reply other threads:[~2022-01-02 4:02 UTC|newest] Thread overview: 13+ messages / expand[flat|nested] mbox.gz Atom feed top 2022-01-02 4:02 Noel Chiappa [this message] 2022-01-02 10:46 ` markus schnalke -- strict thread matches above, loose matches on Subject: below -- 2022-01-02 4:10 Douglas McIlroy 2021-12-31 15:47 [TUHS] roff(7) Douglas McIlroy 2021-12-31 23:07 ` George Michaelson 2021-12-31 23:40 ` Larry McVoy 2022-01-01 20:00 ` [TUHS] roff(7) [ and other related stuff ] Jon Steinhart 2022-01-02 0:12 ` Larry McVoy 2022-01-02 1:04 ` John Cowan 2022-01-02 1:20 ` Larry McVoy 2022-01-02 1:47 ` Steve Nickolas 2022-01-02 2:12 ` Larry McVoy 2022-01-02 3:56 ` Jon Steinhart 2022-01-02 1:48 ` Jon Steinhart 2022-01-02 3:04 ` John Cowan 2022-01-02 3:30 ` Warner Losh
Reply instructions: You may reply publicly to this message via plain-text email using any one of the following methods: * Save the following mbox file, import it into your mail client, and reply-to-all from there: mbox Avoid top-posting and favor interleaved quoting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posting_style#Interleaved_style * Reply using the --to, --cc, and --in-reply-to switches of git-send-email(1): git send-email \ --in-reply-to=20220102040217.CE36D18C08E@mercury.lcs.mit.edu \ --email@example.com \ --firstname.lastname@example.org \ --subject='Re: [TUHS] roff(7) [ and other related stuff ]' \ /path/to/YOUR_REPLY https://kernel.org/pub/software/scm/git/docs/git-send-email.html * If your mail client supports setting the In-Reply-To header via mailto: links, try the mailto: link
This is a public inbox, see mirroring instructions for how to clone and mirror all data and code used for this inbox; as well as URLs for NNTP newsgroup(s).