Concept Programming Article

There is an article about concept programming at El Register. Not only that, but Phil Manchester did a pretty good job of summarizing our conversation. I thought I was speaking too quickly, and I sort of expected him to call back and ask a few questions. Since he had not done so, I thought he had simply given up on the idea for the moment.

Some comments are interesting. I’ll start with the positive ones, it’s good for the morale. James Anderson wrote:

I read the article expecting the usual Computer Science giberish and the usual calling old ideas with new names.

But actually I was rather impressed. First of there is a real appreciation of what was good in C, Algol, Pascal and a serious attempt to hold on to the good stuff and improve it. Also a serious look at what went wrong with the C++ Java etc.

The resulting XL language looks nice and whats more it looks usable.

The bit people seem to have trouble getting thier head around is the generics and the IMHO very wonderful “written as” syntax. But generics are a mine field anyway and the XL approach is definately better than the C++ or Java (C++ generic are unreadable and undebugable, my forst impresion of java genrerics is that you end up with more code than if you wrote a method for each signature!). And the “written as” is something completely new (at least to me!).

Indeed, I believe that I invented the written keyword in XL (of course, I might be wrong). And of course, I hope that it’s useful. For those who don’t know, it’s a generalized form of operator overloading, which lets you define for example stuff like A+B*C and “reduce it” to a function call. Hence the official name, “expression reduction“.

Naturally, not all comments were just as nice. But for the bad publicity, you’ll have to follow the link…😉

Also of note: a link to a language called iolanguage, which one of the comments claimed is similar to XL. But as far as I can tell, this is certainly not a concept-oriented language.

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