Lambda the Ultimate

inactiveTopic Programming Language Design and Software Quality
started 4/22/2002; 9:07:23 AM - last post 4/24/2002; 1:53:42 PM
Ehud Lamm - Programming Language Design and Software Quality  blueArrow
4/22/2002; 9:07:23 AM (reads: 1344, responses: 1)
Programming Language Design and Software Quality
S. Tucker Taft, Presentation (Tools USA 1999) on Programming Language Design and Software Quality. (PPT format)

Programming language design as Human Engineering.

Interesting discussion on language design. Tucker Taft led the Ada 9X language design team (Ada9X was the code name for the Ada version now known as Ada95).

The discussion of exceptions may be a bit surprising.

Posted to Software-Eng by Ehud Lamm on 4/22/02; 9:08:27 AM

John Lawter - Re: Programming Language Design and Software Quality  blueArrow
4/24/2002; 1:53:42 PM (reads: 475, responses: 0)
One quibble about an example of "Good Human Engineering":

The Modern MiniVan - Cup Holders Galore!

Given the rest of the presentation, this example seems out of place.

Several years ago, I read an article about the difficulties European car manufacturers had in selling their products in the U.S. One example given was the problem caused by the reluctance of Volvo's engineers to add cup holders to their cars. The engineers felt that adding the cup holders would encourage drivers to drink while driving, which could lead to distraction (a dangerous condition). So in this respect I think the cup holders belong in the "Bad Engineering" section.

It seems to me that a designer concerned with making a language which would minimize errors should not add any feature which could encourage unsafe behavior, even if that feature is beloved by programmers in other languages. (To stretch a point here, one might say C is a language with cup holders.)