Re: failures

[Dave Berry <daveb@tardis.ed.ac.uk>]
> There is a large gulf between the people who design languages that everyone
> uses, and the people who know the theory.  This gulf is shrinking, thanks
> to some people who have worked hard to bridge it, but there's still a long
> way to go before the language community's skills are properly recognised.
> A popular book like this might help.

i think it's a nice idea, but would there be sufficient popular
interest? gui design is something that many people feel compelled to
know something about and participate in, but not so many feel that
they're involved in language design (whether or not that's correct is
another question).

on a (somewhat) related note, i was browsing books the other day and
flipped through the newish o'reilly book on ruby, a language which i
know next to nothing about. the book is by ruby's designer, who is
japanese, and in places the translation is a bit spotty. this sentence,
from the beginning of the chapter on the debugging and profiling
tools, while almost certainly not what he intended to say, is a good
point nonetheless, and especially relevant to recent discussion re
the value of formal semantics:

 "it doesn't matter how easy a language is to use, it usually contains
 bugs if it is more than a few lines long."
    -- yukihiro matsumoto, "ruby in a nutshell", p. 166



matt hellige                  matt@immute.net