Lambda the Ultimate

inactiveTopic Unified languages?
started 7/30/2000; 2:20:20 PM - last post 8/6/2000; 9:56:54 AM
Ehud Lamm - Unified languages?  blueArrow
7/30/2000; 2:20:20 PM (reads: 650, responses: 3)
Unified languages?
Andrew wrote in discussion group about unified languages (i.e., langugaes unfiying several paradigms). This is a good topic. Many attempts at unification lead to multi-paradigmatic languages like C++ or Ada. These are "big languages" (see surevy below). Some may say that small languages, that have enough expressive power, can give you the benefits of many paradigms, without the cost of language bloat.

They might talk about "stratified design" (anyone has the link to the paper "lisp as a language for stratified design"?).

Consider a language like Scheme (as I am now working with Essentials of Programming Languages this language is on my mind). SICP can show you that this language can lend itself to programming in a variety of styles.

A nice intro is The Joys of Scheme. I am esp. fond of the way new control structures can be added to the available repertoire. This is usually difficult to do. (It is also arguable whether this is a good idea (the Ada Steelman document specified that the language will not support adding control structures. I just had my students explain why they think this requirement was given; but this is a different subject).

Is there a good approach to really unifying the different programming paradigms? I don't know.
Posted to "" by Ehud Lamm on 7/30/00; 2:32:34 PM

andrew cooke - Re: Unified languages?  blueArrow
7/31/2000; 2:59:36 AM (reads: 693, responses: 0)
Does Smalltalk allow new control structures to be added as objects? I've never used Smalltalk, but guess it would be comparabale to Scheme (ie not as powerful as Lisp macros, but elegant and seamless) (Lisp macros allow you to introduce structures with syntax that would otherwise be illegal - the contents of the macro, when used, are treated initially as text - but Scheme has better integration of functions because of the single namespace which removes the need for funcall).

Curious, Andrew

andrew cooke - Re: Unified languages?  blueArrow
8/6/2000; 9:14:53 AM (reads: 701, responses: 1)
I am now working with Essentials of Programming Languages

Is this a good book - not as a textbook, but as something to read that makes you sit and think about new ideas (rather like SICP manages to do in parts)?


Ehud Lamm - Re: Unified languages?  blueArrow
8/6/2000; 9:56:54 AM (reads: 828, responses: 0)
Some say it is as thought provoking. Search aroung comp.lang.scheme

It is an intersting book. But I think that as a 'thought provoking book', SICP is in a league by itself.