Faith, Evolution, and Programming Languages

Google Tech Talks April 27, 2007 ABSTRACT Faith and evolution provide complementary--and sometimes conflicting--models of the world, and they also can model the adoption of programming languages. Adherents of competing paradigms, such as functional and object-oriented programming, often appear motivated by faith. Families of related languages, such as C, C++, Java, and C#, may arise from pressures of evolution. As designers of languages, adoption rates provide us with scientific data, but the belief that elegant designs are better is a matter of faith. This talk traces one concept, second-order quantification, from its inception in the symbolic logic of Frege through to the generic features introduced in Java 5, touching on features of faith and evolution. The remarkable correspondence between natural deduction and functional programming informed the design of type classes in Haskell. Generics in Java evolved directly from Haskell type classes, and are designed to support evolution from legacy code to generic code. Links, a successor to Haskell aimed at AJAX-style three-tier web applications, aims to reconcile some of the conflict between dynamic and static approaches to typing. Google EngEDU Speaker: Philip Wadler

Related Talks

Growing a Language, by Guy Steele

Guy Steele
an hour
Growing a Language, by Guy SteeleGuy Steele's keynote at the 1998 ACM OOPSLA conference on "Growing a Language" discusses the importance of and issues associated with designing a programming language that can be grown by its users. ACM OOPSLA conference Speaker: Guy L. Steele Jr. ...

Caml Trading

Caml TradingJane Street Capital is a proprietary trading company that has shifted from developing software in mainstream programming languages to developing software almost entirely in OCaml, a statically typed functional programming language that has only modest industrial use. The scope of the enterprise is small but growing: Jane Street now has ...