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Our new location (not active yet!)
Our new address is going to be

This link currently points to a static file while we finalize the details of the software platform to replace Manila, and try to provide all the features you've come to rely on when using LtU.

If you want to help, especially if you have experience with Drupal, let us know.
Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 6/16/04; 1:52:49 PM


Be advised
See here for some details about and LtU in particular.

More information, as soon as I have it.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 6/15/04; 1:59:19 PM

Discuss (1 response)

I am on holiday until Sunday, and will be checking email and LtU less often than usual until then.

Rest assured that I am working on finding a solution to our hosting situation. I am well aware that the site is slow and often down, and am looking for a new home for LtU. In the mean time I can only ask you to be patient.

Let me use this opportunity to thank all the members who offered help with this problem. This help is very much appreciated.

P.S. We've temporarily added a counter to the page template to help us measure the bandwidth we need.
Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 5/25/04; 3:21:42 AM

Discuss (3 responses)

Impedance mismatch: RDBMS and PLs
Joel's probably onto something in his rants:

Since a huge percentage of code requires access to databases, the glue (a.k.a. the connecticazoint) between the RDBMS layer and the application code is very important, yet virtually every modern programming language assumes that RDBMS access is something that can be left to libraries. In other words, language designers never bother to put database integration features into their languages.

One could argue that the problem may not be in the programming languages per se, but rather with SQL itself. But if one accepts SQL as a given, then you'd have to admit that most of the efforts of static programming language checks (Java, C#, etc), are doomed to using SQL as a dynamic language check as the commands are just passed around as strings and not checked until runtime.

(As a preemption, he does say in the footnotes):

In functional languages like lisp the syntax layer is so light that you could probably implement very good RDBMS shims in ways that feel almost native. Especially if you have lazy evaluation of function parameters, it's easy to see how you could build a "where" clause generator that used the same syntax as your "if" predicates.
Posted to admin by Chris Rathman on 4/7/04; 2:59:20 PM

Discuss (31 responses)

Play nice...
I am going to be on Holdiay until the 14/4. If I survive the London weather, I'll be back around that date, full of new PL-related ideas (or not).

Which reminds me of the classic joke about English weather: Other places have weather, we British have a climate...

So play nice, and have a happy Passover if you are one of us Jews...

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 4/5/04; 3:49:00 AM

Discuss (2 responses)

New department: parallel and distributed languages and paradigms
Due to popular demand I've created a new LtU department dedicated to Parallel/Distributed programming languages.

It's not like we haven't discussed this topic in the past, but now editors can put items in this more narrowly defined category, where readers can find them more easily later on.

I assume Luke will want to inaugurate the new department with an erlang item... so stay tuned.

By the way, I just noticed that we now have more than twenty (20!) departments. Wow.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 3/26/04; 5:37:43 AM


Site Availability
The last two days were terrible: LtU was almost totally inaccessible.

I hope that the server is ok now.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 3/11/04; 2:34:17 AM

Discuss (8 responses)

New Department
I've decided to add a new department for items related to meta programming and meta programming related techniques.

This is quite a favorite topic, and until now one had to look all over to find relevant items.

Appropriate topics include macro facilities, partial evaluation, code generation, staging etc.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 3/9/04; 3:00:19 AM


LtU FAQ Update

Ehud suggested a post about a FAQ update for LtU. This is the chance for newcomers and oldtimers to have a meeting of the minds. What questions exist out there? If you have never posted before, now would be a good time. Oldtimers, what would you like newcomers to know about LtU?

Posted to admin by Mark Evans on 2/9/04; 1:42:44 PM

Discuss (10 responses)

I am extremely busy at work this and next week (at least), hence the lack of posts.

Remember to visit the discussion group, plenty of good stuff there.

Editors, please take the slack!


If you are so inclined, you can pray for me. It might help me survived this avalanche of work...

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 1/29/04; 1:53:00 AM

Discuss (1 response)

The Lambda ethos
During the recent months the LtU readership has grown significantly. During this time I've have recieved quite a few questions about what is and is not appropriate for lambda. Maybe it's time to reflect a bit on lambda's style and content.

When I first started LtU, I had two guiding principles.

First, I realized that programming languages constitute a vast field, and that there are many equally valid points of view. I wanted LtU to be open to this variety. Second, I wanted the site to be up to reasonable intellectual standards. We have enough religious wars in this field as it is.

I wasn't sure about the best way to achieve these two goals, but in retrospect I can try to explain why LtU achieved the success it has, going beyong my wildest dreams.

I wanted LtU to be a community site. I wanted many people to post items they found inteteresting. I think that many of those who only post to the discussion group are in fact responsible to the high quality of content here -- whether by being highly critical of shoddy reasoning, or by giving useful references and explanations. We've come to expect the input from these guys, and each plays his own special role in our rather exclusive community.

Even more important for the direction of the site are, of course, the contributing editors. Some of them post more regularly than others, but all try to only post links they think are worthy of attention. I am glad to say that this self-moderation and self-control proved to be enough.

But you can have to much of a good thing. It seems that some members and even some of the editors are aiming to such a high quality, that they decide not to post links to many interesting programming language related news that I am sure would be of interest to the rest of the LtU community.

No need for that. If you think something is relevant, and you are a regular, chances are you are correct. If something isn't that good, you can always post to the discussion group, and let an editor decide whether to link to the discussion group thread from the LtU home page. Even editors choose to do that from time to time. That's my approach when I want to discuss my work or ask questions.

So, if you are an editor feel free to post links, even if you are not 100% sure they are worthy (90% sure is enough ). If you are a member, and read LtU regularly, consider becoming an editor.

Andrew and Chris (hi guys) influenced the lambda ethos at least as much as I have. It's their wide ranging perspective that made lambda what it is today. This is a chance to thank them, and to prod them to contribute more often... Each of the editors had his own unique influence, and that's what made LtU so interesting for me personally. More recently, Patrick's posts and his out of the box thinking made LtU so much more inviting for views that fall outside the Haskell/Scheme/any-thing-esotric-goes camp. That's great. It's quite alright to debate OOP, but it is still one of the dominant approaches to programming language design.

I've seen LtU described as a "Lisp oriented" site, or as a site with a "functional programming bias". That's not how I see things.

Lambda is our site. We get to decide what we want to discuss. I trust the community to maintain the high quality of discussion we are used to, while still keeping a healthy flow of information.

And, most importantly, let's have fun.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 1/18/04; 2:03:47 PM

Discuss (13 responses)

Happy New Year!
To one and all.

May this year bring you and your loved ones joy, health and a variety of new and type sound programming languages.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 12/31/03; 5:33:45 AM


Another milestone
A recent message in our very active discussion group was the 10000th message on LtU.

If someone would have told me, when LtU was born, that we will reach this day, I wouldn't have believed him.

Thanks, guys!

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 11/21/03; 12:47:41 PM

Discuss (5 responses)

Editors, Ahoy!
Whenever I see that all the posts on the home page were posted by me (aside from our illustrious gues blogger) I get worried (and a bit bored...)

So I guess it's time for another one of those call to arms posts. LtU is your blog, please add to our collective knowledge base.

Since I've come to appreciate the style and areas of interest of most of the contributing editors, I lie awake at night wondering what Andrew is up to, and what Chris is working on. I suspect they think nobody cares. But we do, we really do!

And don't get me started on the editors that specialize in languages and techniques I am curious about. How dare they put my education on hold, and keep the rest of the LtU readership in suspense? Luke, please tell us something new about erlang...

I don't want to mention all the others by name (you know who you are), since this is becoming a long post as it is. Suffice it to say that applying pl theory to linguistics is something we are always interested in, Javascript hacks are cool, biology is one of my pet subjects and that Scheme workshops (and DSELs) are always good subject for LtU posts.

Last thing before I logout (and wait to see what news LtU will bring me in the morning): I am asking for help, not trying to force anyone to write. I hope no one is offended by the humorous tone of this message. My bell is rusty, but my intentions are good.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 11/5/03; 2:55:01 PM

Discuss (7 responses)

Admin notices
  • I finally managed to fix the spelling of the LP department. Instead of Logic/Declerative it is now logic/declarative. Some people found this problem to be very important...

  • You can now get XML feeds for each department. For example for Lambda Calculus posts you'd use this link.

  • There's an RSS feed for the discussion group! It's not very good (no author names, for a start), but it's better than nothing.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 10/14/03; 4:18:36 AM

Discuss (3 responses)

Glossary page on Lambda?
I've been thinking about putting up a glossary page as in this example. Let me know what you think.

It would be good to add short definitions, but this can be done later on.

Post your comments to this thread, and not to the glossary page itself, seeing as it may well end up a permanent fixture like the quotations and research papers pages linked from the navigational menu on the right.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 9/30/03; 4:02:58 AM

Discuss (6 responses)

I am going to be away for a week, while on vacation in northern Italy.

I am sure the other editors will keep you busy while I'm away...

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 9/18/03; 2:01:56 AM

Discuss (1 response)

Guest Bloggers on LtU?
A few prominent weblogs regularly invite non-regulars to blog for a short period of time (a week or so) as guest bloggers. This adds value to the weblog, and gives the guest bloggers a plupit and a somewaht captive audience.

It occured to me that occasionaly inviting guest bloggers to LtU may be a good idea. The purpose of this post it to get feedback on this idead from the LtU community.

Obviously, the most important aspect is to find interesting folks who would agree to post on LtU for a while. To make things as easy as possible, they can be given access rights to the site (like other contributing editors), or simply email their contributions to one of the regular editors. I would set up a department dedicated to guest bloggers postings, so they could be easily found later on.

I usually prefer the LtU home page (and RSS feed) to consist mainly of links to longer essays and acadmeic papers, while rants and speculation are kept buried in the discussion group. Guest bloggers, invited beacuse of their stature will, of course, be encouraged to share their opinions and views in their LtU posts.

The question remains whether this is a good idea, and what are the odds of getting prominent figures in the programming languages community to agree to guest blog here.

Let's here what LtU readers think of this idea. It would be especially helpful in anyone thinks he can get one of the luminaries to accept such an invitation.


A few interesting guys already have personal weblogs, so they may be favourably inclined to take part in this sort of thing.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 8/24/03; 5:48:32 AM

Discuss (3 responses)

Calling LtU editors
It's been awhile since I last prodded the LtU contributing editors, so I figure it's time...

Many of you have been silent for quite some time, which means we haven't heard anything new about type theory for natural language semantics, Scheme DSLs, Erlang and the like.

Come on, you know who you are. Language lovers, stand up and be counted!

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 8/4/03; 3:17:07 AM

Discuss (4 responses)

Another busy week
I have a very hectic week planned ahead, so don't expect to hear a lot from me here on LtU.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 7/6/03; 12:28:54 PM


Next week
I'll be away from my computer until the 22nd. I will be at Toulouse attending Ada-Europe'2003. I am presenting a paper comparing Ada and Java as teaching languages for software engineering.

I promise to try and collect good links during the conference, so I have something to report when I get back.

If any LtU reader is from the Toulouse area and wants to meet for coffee or dinner, let me know.

I'll be staying at the Kyriad hotel

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 6/12/03; 5:26:32 AM

Discuss (2 responses)

Site speed
Trying to improve the time it takes pages to load, I changed the number of messages shown in the chronological view of the discussion group from 25 down to 12.

Since this is the page many of us visit regularly in order to follow discussion threads, I hope the change will help improve the LtU experience...

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 5/31/03; 2:30:25 AM

Discuss (2 responses)

Identity crisis
I noticed that several people linking to LtU from their blogrolls comment that LtU is a "lisp flavored" weblog. If this is really the case, it simply means that some prominent members like Lisp. This can (and did) change over time.

I teach Ada and Scheme (EOPL2), other contributing editors are C++ and Java mavens. A vocal minority consists of Haskell fanatics (see our functional programming department). We even had lively Smalltalk inspired discussions. It may be true that programming language fanatics often like Scheme/Lisp and are excited by languages that are not in the mainstream, but LtU is not just for fanatics (though we tend to be more vocal than anyone else).

What unites LtU readers, if anything, if that we appreicate this diversity. We try to keep an open mind, and to discuss the differences between the various languages, paradigms and techniques carefully and unemotionally. Most of the time we even succeed.

If you think LtU is biassed, you can easily fix the problem by signing up to become a contributing editor.

I think there's a lesson here to be learned about programming language communties, and about our own little sanctuary. What do you think?

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 5/23/03; 1:39:55 AM

Discuss (8 responses)

A bit about LtU being a community weblog
Since there are many new readers visitng this here blog, I thought it would be a good thing to remind people of the purpose and organisation of LtU.

LtU is dedicated to programming languages (not programming and languages). The weblog was set up for the purpose of exploring the full range of programming language related issues: theory and practice; imperative and functional; domain specific and general prupose etc.

Since this charter is very broad, there is simply no way for one person, or even two, to provide timely, interesting and in depth discussion of relevant news items, academic papers etc.

Thus any regular LtU reader is welcome to become a contributing editor and post news items to the home page of LtU. These new items are then also part of the LtU RSS feed. There are currently almost 20 contribtuing editors. Some post almost daily, others post more occasionally.

Being a community site, most of the action here on LtU happens on the site's discussion group. Many of the discussions are about news items posted by the contributing editors, but quite a few are the result of messages posted to the discussion group by regular readers. New messages to the discussion group are not part of the LtU RSS feed, and are invisble unless you visit the discussion group page.

So if you are reading LtU for a while, and want to contribute - simply sign up to become a member. After doing so you'll be able to post messages to the dicussion group. If you want to become a contributing editor, contact me by email.

I hope you all find LtU to be a useful resource. I know I do.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 5/5/03; 8:01:20 AM


A few garbage messages appeared on the LtU discussion group today. I am still unsure whether this is deliberate or human error.

I will keep watch. I hope to have the issue resolved ASAP.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 4/15/03; 1:29:06 AM

Discuss (2 responses)

LtU indexes
The indexes for the topics on LtU have been updated:

Sorted by Date

Sorted by Topic

-- Chris Rathman

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 4/10/03; 1:28:24 PM


Server problems
It seems Userland is having some problems with the servers hosting LtU. I keep getting timeouts and server errors today.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 3/7/03; 11:01:18 AM


6000 messages ago
The previous item was the 6000th message on LtU. Now that's a handful!

LtU was born around 950 days ago (well, 949, but who is counting?)

Doing the math, I discovered that we average around 6.3 messages/day, with a new post every 3.7 hours.

Now, this isn't what amazes me.

The amazing thing is the amount of valuable information I find here day after day.

So go and have a drink to celebrate the LtU community, our very own programming language community on the web!

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 3/4/03; 6:28:55 AM

Discuss (2 responses)

This here being a community weblog...
LtU's best feature is the diverse and eclectic group of individuals contributing links and insights, both on the home page and in the discussion group.

Alas, it seems that many of the contributing editors are too busy with real life (silly them) to contribute as much as they and us would like.

To remedy this situation I decided to recruit new memebers to the "editorial board."

Being a LtU editor isn't such a great job, we don't even have a health plan. However, it allows you to post news items (i.e., links) directly to the home page.

All editors must be dedicated to techincal and, where appropriate, academic excellence. And they must also be programming language buffs, of course.

Since some LtU departments are in need of more attention than others, being neglected by the current crowd, I would especially appreciate the help of people interested in Logic/Declerative langauges, OOP languages, and theory (e.g., semantics, LC etc.)

So if you want to Be All That You Can Be, let me know and I'll sign you up.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 2/10/03; 3:01:43 AM


Source Code Formatter
This can come in handy when trying to include source code in your posts.
Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 1/13/03; 1:44:36 PM


Busy busy busy
Exam season is about to start, so I will not have that much time to read and surf the next couple of weeks. Hence, expect fewer posts here.

I seem to remember we had contributing editors, but maybe it's time to recruit some new ones...

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 1/9/03; 11:32:33 AM


Merry Christmas
I know this is a bit late, but I wish you all a Merry Christmas.
Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 12/25/02; 12:25:22 PM

Discuss (2 responses)

I am not sure where all the contributing editors are hiding. It's been a while since most of them showed up. This means many interesting topics are neglected, from cross language runtimes to semantics; from algebraic methods to OOP and DSLs.

I really want to know if there's any big reason for this. If you prefer, drop me a line by email instead of posting here.

I'll try to run a reader survey soon. I just need to find a few spare minutes to sit down and decide what to ask...

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 12/17/02; 1:08:15 PM


Misc Links
Several good links from the DG:

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 12/11/02; 10:07:52 AM


Why LtU was so quiet
I had a stomach flu or something for almost all of last week. I think I am getting better, and posting will resume.

Not all other editors can share this excuse, though

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 11/24/02; 12:15:17 PM


LtU on BlogHop
I've added LtU to BlogHop. Now you can rate your favorite blog.

Rate LtU on!
the best pretty good okay pretty bad the worst help?

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 11/6/02; 2:25:21 AM

Discuss (2 responses)

I am running out of titles
For messages urging contributing editors to, er.. contribute!

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 10/31/02; 4:47:44 AM

Discuss (3 responses)

Contributing (?) Editors
I want to thank Jon for the great links he comes up with and posts to LtU. But where are all the other editors?

Programming languages provide a wide variety of issues and research topics and each of you has his own point of view, and interests.

So instead of thinking to yourself, "long time since there was a good link on the things I am interested in" - post one yourself!

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 10/6/02; 7:30:28 AM

Discuss (6 responses)

Additions to the research papers page
I've added Graham Hutton's fold tutorial and the classic bananas and lenses paper by Meijer, Fokkinga and Paterson, to the research papers page.

I found myself referring to them over and over again.

Rereading the bananas and lenses paper, I was reminded why it is so significant. However, it is very dense and introduces a lot of notation (on top of the four symbols referred to in the title )

A Bananas and Lenses Distilled tutorial would be nice to have around...

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 10/3/02; 1:49:42 PM

Discuss (1 response)

Short break
I'll be back Tuesday. Ultra-short vacation in Amsterdam...
Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 9/5/02; 6:38:56 AM

Discuss (1 response)

Anybody home?
Are all the contributing editors (except Jon that is) on vacation or something?

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 8/26/02; 8:51:25 AM

Discuss (3 responses)

Happy birthday Dear Lambda
Two years and 3850 messages ago LtU was born.

I started LtU to help me in the design of a programming language course (based on EOPL2) at the Open University of Israel. I knew from the get go that I couldn't possibly manage such a weblog by myself. I simply didn't have the time nor the knowledge of all the different subfields of programming language research. I wanted the weblog to reflect the variety of points of view and research questions, and I tried to recruit contributing editors.

Without the help of Andrew Cooke -- who, by the way, originated the use of the acronym LtU -- and the help of Chris Rathman, LtU would never have gained momentum.

Today LtU has more than ten contributing editors and over 300 members. More than 100 page hits an hour are the norm, and many well-known websites have links to LtU.

But numbers don't give the whole story. I feel we managed to create a small community, where each member can give his perspective and engage in civil and professional discussion with others. We didn't become another comp.lang.misc, where flames are the norm, and no real learning takes place.

Quite a few members are actively pursuing research in highly specialized areas of programming language research (such as semantics and algebraic methods). Thanks to them we are exposed to very interesting techniques and research questions, often in the context of real life design questions and examples. This mixture of theory and practice gives LtU a unique quality.

Still, I kind of miss the old times, when we allowed ourselves to post less serious links, if we thought they could be of interest. On occasion, we even allowed ourselves to discuss things that weren't directly programming languages related.

Let me single out two other members. Oleg was kind enough to offer great summaries for various conferences he attended. Behind the scenes he kept on sending me great links for posting on LtU. I learned quite a few things from his always interesting contributions. More recently Jon Fernquest showered us with great links.

It's nice that each member has a different focus, and is an expert on specific issues. May I suggest, one more time, that we need more people to focus their attention on Logic/Declerative languages, and the awfully quiet LC department?

Listen to me! I wanted to say how great you all made LtU become, and here I am complaining...

I just wanted to thank you all for helping create and run LtU. Many happy returns...

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 7/28/02; 3:31:45 AM

Discuss (2 responses)

Personal weblogs
Many LtU members and editors also have personal weblogs. To make it easier to find these often quite interesting weblogs, I added a new field to the membership data you can provide when signing up as a LtU member.

If you are already a member, you can simply go to the preferences page in order to change your membership data.

To see the public information provided by a member, go to one of his posts and simply click on the author's name. For an example, check my profile.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 7/24/02; 12:36:41 PM

Discuss (1 response)

What being an Editor is all about
Noticed that the previous two posts were simply links taken from LtU's amazingly informative discussion group?

As an editor on LtU you have the prerogative to post on the homepage links to items hidden in the discussion group that you find interesting (a process I call lambda lifting).

One more reason to become an editor... (And one more way editors can help me run LtU...)

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 7/6/02; 8:51:50 PM

Discuss (1 response)

When all the posts on the home page are from me, I know it's time to remind our contributors to, well... contribute!

Since I am quite busy (the exam season just started) most of my posts are nothing more than general info. We need more theory, new and interesting functional programming links, and more on the Logic/Declerative paradigms.

In fact we even haven't mentioned OOP in quite sometime.

And if you aren't a contributing editor, remember you can always post a highbrow troll in the discussion group, and see what happens

Remember, LtU is a community, not a website..

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 7/2/02; 3:18:03 PM

Discuss (2 responses)

Notice that the xml department is to be used for other markup languages as well (bad chioce of department name, but we must remain backward compatible).

I was wondering if a case-studies department would be a good thing to have. A place to put all the references about "Scheme in the real world" / "Prolog in the real world" etc. Let me know what you think.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 7/1/02; 7:00:46 AM


A short break
Next week I am going to be at the Ada-Europe conference in Vienna, so I will not be posting here the whole week. Perhaps I'll be able to report here on some of the sessions.

If anyone is near by, we can try an meet. I'll be at the Parkhotel Schonbrunn.

Meanwhile, I am sure all our great contributing editors will keep you busy with interesting links and commentary.

I'll be back before you know it.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 6/15/02; 9:44:10 AM


Another RSS idea
People are thinking hard about RSS. Let me go on record saying I am a great fan of RSS and news aggregators. It is simply the best way to surf. It also makes blogging much easier.

What would be great is to have RSS feeds from authors publication lists. This way, you'd automatically know when a new paper is put online.

It should be quite easy to do this. Simple markup can be used, so that tools will be able to turn the HTML page into RSS.

(And while we are on the subject, it'd be great if Frank RSS enables his great list of resources)

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 5/31/02; 8:19:38 AM

Discuss (1 response)

Just so you know
I am going to be away from my PC for most of this week. I don't think I'll find the time to post anything substantial.
Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 5/26/02; 10:00:04 AM


Where is everybody?
It has been awfully quiet around here the last couple of days. What's up?

By the way, when you do decide to post remember that some departments are in more need of attention than others. For example: fun (last entry 3/9/02), critiques (5/6/02, but general lack of entries) and Logic/Declerative (ditto).

We also need more theory, interesting stuff on semantics etc.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 5/20/02; 10:26:35 AM

Discuss (1 response)

New Departments
I've added two new departments:

  1. object-functional for discussions of combining the OOP and functional paradigms.

  2. DSL for discussions of domain specific languages (aka little languages)
Both these topics were discussed here many times. I decided it is time to give them their own departments. As you all know, I simply love DSLs. Now I'll have an easier time finding DSL related posts.

Tip: If you put the name of a department in quotes, you magically get a link to the department itself. Same is true for other shortcuts like Haskell, EOPL, Icon etc. (Yes! I just wrote EOPL inside quotes. No need to remember the URL).

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 5/15/02; 12:10:22 PM


I've got the flu. If you care, post something to LtU...

Don't worry, I'll be back.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 5/7/02; 9:58:35 AM


LtU indexes
Chris updated his indexes of LtU.


Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 4/27/02; 10:51:59 AM


Interesting threads
Check the discussion group.

Thanks guys!

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 4/19/02; 4:17:40 AM


Real Life
I am very busy, so posting is going to be sporadic.

I know y'all have something to contribute, so don't just sit there, ye hear?
Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 4/17/02; 1:15:31 AM


Note to RSS junkies
IF you only read LtU using an RSS aggregator, you should be aware that you may be missing out on interesting messages that don't show on the home page, only in the discussion group. It is worthwhile to check the chronological list of DG messages from time to time.

(Microsoft Rotor grants announcement is a recent example)

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 4/2/02; 7:20:18 AM

Discuss (1 response)

A sense of community
LtU was concieved as community website, open to anyone interested in programming languages. I wanted to hear what others are interested in, and provide a place for the variety of opinions and points of view. All that while retaining a high signal to noise ratio.

In my mind this site has never been my site. It belongs to the community. Many of the more interesting dicussions started with contributions by others.

Recently, with the advent of many low cost blogging tools, many people interested in programming languages started their own weblogs. Some of the more informed and interesting recent dicussions appeared on these sites. Suddenly instead of experiencing a community weblog, I found myself reading and enjoying a community of weblogs. Does this mean a community site like LtU has no place?

I have given this some thought and I don't think this is the right conclusion. There are many reasons why a community site is different than a set of linked personal sites. It is great that people run their own sites, it is also great to have 'hub' sites like LtU. It is great when people like Patrick Logan and Peter Drayton come here to comment, and link to more detailed discussions they post on their personal sites. Please continue doing so. I use an RSS feed aggregator, but having a central site is useful, esp. when you want threaded discussions. Indeed, scanning many sites for posts on specific subjects (like programming languages) is less appealing than checking a semi-moderated site like LtU.

Let me know about more weblogs that should be added to the list. Let's bootstrap the community. When you link to LtU, please use the site's name instead of Ehud Lamm etc. You are as much a part of this site as I am. Become contributing editors!

I believe that LtU should retain its pretty unusal flavor, mixing theory with insightful analysis of industrial state of the art. It is great that so much of this high quality content is now available through personal weblogs.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 3/15/02; 2:57:49 PM

Discuss (4 responses)

While I was away there were some good posts in the discussion group, that should have been on the homepage. Like I said before, being a contributing editor is free, and you can post to the homepage whenever you feel it is warranted. You just have to let me know you want in, and I'll add you to the list.

This helps the site run smoothly when I am away or busy, and generally saves me time.

More importantly, I'd like to know if I am the only one who sufferes from terrible response times from the server. And I mean terrible: It can take more that 5 minutes to get a discussion group item. Let me know.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 2/15/02; 8:44:29 AM

Discuss (5 responses)

Check the discussion group
Sorry for not posting. I do feel terrible about this.

Notice there are interesting posts in the discussion group, that are not linked from the homepage.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 2/13/02; 10:58:52 AM


Another slow week
This week I am going to have little time to post on LtU. Sorry.

This may be a good time for you to (editors) to post on topics that don't get their fair share of LtU attention. Things like semantics, LC or whatever.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 2/10/02; 10:31:21 AM


The two previous messages I posted to the home page, were taken from our discussion group. Thanks guy. Lovely stuff.

I just realized that what I had done, taking messages from the DG and moving them to the home page, has a technical name: This must be what lambda lifting is all about

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 1/30/02; 12:37:39 AM

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Speak Up!
I finished writing my paper, and I have about two days until I have to start marking exams - so this should have been a great time to post some interesting stuff. Alas, I am coming down with a flu.

I am sure that there is interesting stuff out there, projects being done, papers being published.

I am also sure you guys know where the interesting stuff is.

So why not share?

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 1/28/02; 8:17:56 AM


2002 Weblog Awards: Vote for LtU!
LtU is one of the finalists in the best computers or technology category. Up there with Slashdot! Now's the chance to go vote. Every vote counts

Personally, I'd prefer being in the community weblog category. I think we formed a nice small community here. Couldn't do it with out you guys. Special thanks goes to Oleg's great contributions, and Frank's short tutorials.

Another chance to give a huge thanks to Chris and Andrew who helped get this weblog going in the first place.

This weblog isn't about winning prizes (though I am not one to object to winning things!) It started as way for like minded people to have meaningful discussions. And thanks to all of you we achieve this goal daily.

See you around!

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 1/25/02; 2:30:23 AM

Discuss (1 response)

2002 Weblog Awards
The Bloggies™ are publicly-chosen awards given to weblog writers and those related to weblogs in 30 categories.

If anybody wants to nominate or vote for LtU, no one's stopping them

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 1/5/02; 3:12:54 AM


Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
As you may have noticed from the lack of updates, I am extremely busy at the moment. Feel free to share interesting stuff you have, by posting to the home page (if you are a contributor) or by using the discussion group.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 1/3/02; 6:01:21 AM

Discuss (3 responses)

New year resolutions
Contributing to LtU must be in there somewhere (in one of the top three places!)

Just so you don't forget!

Happy New Year!
Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 12/31/01; 3:52:07 AM

Discuss (2 responses)

Reading long discussion threads
Notice that when viewing the discussion group, you can toggle between a topical list of threads, and a chronological list of messages ordered by days.

When using the chronological view you can read each message in the thread separately. This is very useful with long threads, since it eliminates the need to download all the thread messages.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 12/20/01; 1:01:37 PM


Abusive posts
I urge all readers and contributors to read the LtU FAQ which says:

Your contributions are welcome, in the form of questions, announcements etc. However, abusive or off-topic posts will be deleted immediately. This is a service for professonals only.

Please refrain from personal attacks, and ad hominem arguments.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 12/17/01; 12:40:27 PM


Searching LtU
I've added a new searchb ox (look left!)

This one searches LtU using Google, instead of using the Userland search engine.

These days Google seems to index weblogs just fine, and usually returns better search results.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 12/6/01; 12:01:29 AM


Out of reach
The power supply of my home computer is dead, so my internet activities will be quite limited in the next few days.

This is the time to show you care, and post...

If you sent me email, wait a couple of days. I hope I'll be able to get it once I fix the computer.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 12/5/01; 6:22:31 AM

Discuss (3 responses)

Quotation Help Wanted
The Wirth and Hoare papers mentioned here this week contain some good quotes on language desgin. Some are even quite witty.

Alas the papers were scanned so there is no easy way to cut&paste from them.

If anyone can spare some time and type some good bits (paragraphs or sentences worth remembering), I'd be very happy to put them on our quotations page.

Best if you send a text message with the HTML ready for cut&paste, formatted in the standard way.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 11/22/01; 11:30:58 AM


The Sound of Silence
I am going to be very busy until the end of the month. I am working on some paper proposals for conferences, and I have heaps of other stuff that I must take care of.

It would be great if others can post interesting stuff on LtU, while I am off doing other things.

Remember this is YOUR site. It is not mine. I just set it up.

There are plenty of interesting things in PL that I don't know about. I'd love to learn. So please share!

More on distributed objects, beans, Prolog, semantics, web. Interesting papers. Whatever.

If you read LtU, and something interests you, there's a good chance it will interst others here.

Remember that you can just post a link, if you don't have the time or the will to write something longer.

People, I want to LEARN something here. How about helping me do that?

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 10/19/01; 6:08:36 AM

Discuss (4 responses)

Time Off
I am going to be away from my computer for about ten days starting tomorrow. I am sure our great contributors will contine to keep the flow going while I am away.

Since this is a personal note, I'll allow myself to sidestep this site's charter and say a few words concerning current events.

As you know I am from a country that has been under terroist attacks for many many years, and is as we speak fighting a wave of terror attacks that started almost a year ago.

Leaving politics aside, one can hardly imagine human beings planning and executing these attacks on innocent civilians. The heart aches for the loss of life, as we pray for the recovery of all injured.

These attacks are an attempt to invade the lives and politics of peoples and nations. We should not let that happen, and must return as soon as possible to our daily life - as I am sure will happen in America.

Let me express my deepest condolences to all our friends and colleagues in the US.

Israel set up blood doantion stations, in order to supply our relief mission with blood units. I assume this is also done elsewhere. I urge those that can to help this effort and donate blood.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 9/12/01; 2:49:09 PM


It's all about sharing
A personal note.

This site is supposed to be a community website. I tried to create a place where people interested in programming languages could share links, ideas and so on.

In some respects the site is a success. We have had some wonderful contributors, and many are still on board. Most LtU readers take the time to say they appreciate the quality of the postings, the high signal to noise ratio, and the reasonable amount of traffic, which alows contemplation. I am happy to see you enjoy the site.

We also see a steady rise in the number of LtU readers, and the number of sites syndicating our headlines.

Alas, contributions come mainly from me and a couple of other dedicated contributors doing the best they can (we are all working people...) I find it extremely difficult to provide enough high quality content to justify the site. I started actively searching for things to post, and this really takes more time than I can afford at the moment.

This situation is problematic for another reason. It makes the site quite dull. We don't have enough sources of information, different perspectives and so on. This is a shame, bacuse I want to come here to learn about things I am not familiar with.

I really would like to have more participation. Either from current members, or by recuriting new contributors.

I thought about some new apporaches, like finding someone willing to be responsible for a specific department (e.g., I feel that the Logic/Declerative department could benefit from more attention). Another possibility is that someone would volunteer to run a regular 'column' on some interesting topic (LC puzzles would make me happy..)

Anyway, I realy think that the only way to keep LtU alive and worthy of your surfing time (and mine!) is by having more participation.

So if you are willing to become a contributing editor, let me know. If you have some other suggestions - please share them with the rest of us. And if you think all this is misguided, and you prefer a site you just skim, and doesn't expect your participation - let me know; perhaps what I have in mind is not what others want.

Meanwhile, I'll try to find good links to post..

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 7/25/01; 1:24:33 PM

Discuss (7 responses)

Question for y'all
Do you think we should add a department for important SW related or semi-related stuff that is noteworthy enough, even though isn't directly related to programming languages?

I am not sure this is a good direction, I'd like to know what you think.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 7/9/01; 8:57:44 AM

Discuss (8 responses)

Lambda the Ultimate: Topic List
It's been a couple of months since I updated the topic indexes for LtU, so I thought it time to bring them up to date again. The topic list can be viewed sorted by topic or sorted by date.
Posted to admin by Chris Rathman on 7/4/01; 11:31:27 AM


Time off
I'll be busy the next couple of weeks, grading exams. I assume I am not going to have time to add meaningful content to LtU.

Constributing editors: please take the helm!

LtU readers who want to become contributors, here's your chance to make your mark; just let me know.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 7/2/01; 2:20:05 AM


Google searches
Frabjous day: It seems that the Google index started to include this and other sites once more.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 6/24/01; 7:48:20 AM


Knock Knock
Any body home?!

Feels like I am talking to myself the last couple of days. Please - someone, anyone - contribute!

Especially since I am still having those strange refreshing problems when viewing the site from home, so posting is a very clumsy process for me right now.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 6/4/01; 8:00:47 AM

Discuss (1 response)

I am going to be away from my computer the week starting Sunday the 13th. I'll be presenting a paper at the Ada-Europe conference (and apparently drinking a lot of beer).

If any LtU reader is from these parts of the world, or is attending the conference, I'd be very happy to meet and chat. I am going to be at the Holiday Inn hotel.

I am sure that while I am away the other contributing editors will continue doing a great job in keeping the high quality site we have achieved together.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 5/12/01; 1:17:48 PM

Discuss (2 responses)

Generics & Java
Newstory in Java Lobby about Generics being integrated with Java. Mostly about how Sun is starting to accept the folks that implemented GJ - they are to be commended for their efforts.

Consider me a skeptic, but the main achievement of generics (templates) seems to be smooth collection classes. That thing so easily achieved in dynamic languages like Smalltalk seems to be elusive of the statically typed languages like Java, Eiffel and C++.

Why is it that things that are considered to be milestones within generics are taken for granted in languages that don't enforce compile time type checking? Ok, so we get into the age old debate of dynamic versus static languages. But I'm still trying to figure out what generics have to offer - other than mimicking dynamic languages. I love the strongly typed inferential languages like ML & Haskell, but they are are far cry from the above.
Posted to admin by Chris Rathman on 5/12/01; 12:43:44 AM

Discuss (1 response)

Google stops indexing these servers
It seems that the Google index doesn't contain references to the free Userland hosted sites anymore. I am not sure when this started or why this is so, but it is clear from the referers log that there is quite a reduction in traffic to this site.

It is a shame, since it was easier to find things via Goolge than via the search service provided by Userland, which is invoked when you use the serach box on the left.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 5/8/01; 2:45:37 PM

Discuss (3 responses)

  • Notice the Blogs and Wikis list at the bottom. If you think I missed an important information source, let me know.

  • I added a few Stroustrup quotations to the quotes page.

  • I found examples showing how to use Manila Express on a news item based site like LtU. I am thinking of implementing this. Should make editors lives easier.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 4/18/01; 11:56:35 AM


Contributors Needed!
I was away for a couple of days, and when I returned I found no new messages

This may be a good reason to ask people to step forward and help keep this site alive. Please become contributing editors.

Basically anyone who is interested in programming languages can help this site. I have two specific areas where I'd like more action (but all other topics are welcome too). First I'd like more lambda calculus action, natrually. I'd be ahppy to have a weekly (or so) LC riddle of challenge. Can anyone take such heavy responsibility on himself?

The other area which I think doesn't come often enough is declerative programming and languages (Prolog and onwards...)

As they say, the more the merryer: so get in touch.
Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 3/4/01; 7:44:10 AM

Discuss (8 responses)

Identity Problems
Going through the referers log and checking out sites that link to LtU, and there are quite a few now, I see many say that LtU is a weblog for functional programming fans.

This is, of course, wrong. LtU is for programming languages fans, regardless of the style of programming they prefer. The idea is to discuss general PL topics, as well as specific paradigms of interest.

Just take a look at our OOP department for example.

I, for one, am more interested in general theoretical questions, and software engineering issues.

A lot of great work is done by the FP community, and is mentioned here regularly, but LtU is by no means restrcited to FP.
Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 2/23/01; 12:55:49 AM

Discuss (1 response)

I added some categories, that may help organize the site. When editors post a message (i.e., news item) they can decide to which category it goes. Hopefuly this is the only change. Current categories are admin, theoy, functional, Python, XML and fun. The titles should be self explanatory.

It should be possible to assign pictures to the categories (like on Slashdot), so if you want to contribute, here's a chance.

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 1/26/01; 1:22:40 PM

Discuss (9 responses)

We need contributors!
No we don't want your money. We just need more people to post on the front page of the log.

If you are a member, and can spare a few minutes a week to post language related things here, I am sure we'll all be gratful.

(If you have some more time, and want to help add features to this site - let me know).

I am terribly busy these days, so I can't find enough time to work on the weblog. Please help.

The number of members is increasing steadily. Now we just need more contributors. So don't just lurk, help!

Posted to admin by Ehud Lamm on 12/25/00; 11:01:02 AM


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