I've generally found that the APIs for bridging the gap between Perl and C are either cryptic (XS) or fragile (Inline::C). While Python is better in some ways, I still find its C API rather difficult to read. Tools such as SWIG can help alleviate this problem, but you still need to write a bunch of glue code to bridge the gap between the high-level agile languages and the low-level C code.
A nice tutorial article on extending Ruby by providing access to a C library (GenX).
It has been awhile since we discussed language extension mechanisms and multi-language programming, yet these techniques are quite important when building real life systems.
The November 2004 edition of the biannual Haskell Communities and Activities Report has been published. Lots of new stuff in the last six months, and some old stuff updated as well. The HC&AR has been steadily growing over the last three years, showing that FP is gaining users both professional and private.
The program chair for OOPSLA 2005, Richard P. Gabriel, wants to shake things up. As part of that he's going to institute an Essays track, and I will be program chair for that track. I'm hunting for people to serve on the committee. -- Brian Marick
Might want to send in your suggestions.
Me, I am going to think of an essay topic...
90 minute video presentation from Marc Feeley, along with accompanying PowerPoint slides and source code, for a Scheme to C compiler. Good discussion of continuations and closures, as well as some dipping into the area of compiler construction.
The emphasis is on the 4 major problem areas that crop up in an attempt to convert Scheme to C:
The solution presented gives a series of source-to-source transformations. Stage 1 of the compiler expands the 'let' forms in the Scheme code. Stage 2 converts continuations to CPS. Stage 3 converts the code to closures using encapsulated closure objects. Stage 4 is not presented but touches on how the results would lend itself to a GC implementation.
A thread over on the PLT mailing list that LtU-ers may find interesting.
The thread isn't very technical, and the title may be a bit misleading: It's more about programming skills than about programming by non-programmers.
I wonder how many people outside the PL community would agree with the statement that Programming is just another name for the lost art of thinking. Perhaps a better formulation would be Programming, done right, is just another name for the art of thinking.
And by done right I mean using the right languages, of course.
The MOZ 2004 "Second International Conference on
Three part series on R that's of interest for domain specific PL development. First parts can be found at Part 1: Dabbling with a wealth of statistical facilities and
A three-part series, ...introduces you to R, a rich statistical environment, released as free software. It includes a programming language, an interactive shell, and extensive graphing capability. What's more, R comes with a spectacular collection of functions for mathematical and statistical manipulations -- with still more capabilities available in optional packages... The (GPL'd) R programming language has two parents, the proprietary S/S-PLUS programming language, from which it gets most of its syntax, and the Scheme programming language, from which it gets many (more subtle) semantic aspects.R and S were touched on fairly briefly in the LtU discussion about Regression Analysis. A more detailed introduction can found be found at An Introduction to R.
LL4 will be held at MIT on Saturday, Dec. 4. The due date for presentation proposals is Nov. 12.
We solicit abstracts of talks to be given at the workshop. Go for it -- convince us. Talks will be 30 minutes long, including time for questions and answers. Presenters are not expected to submit papers, but slides will be published on the workshop web site. We will also consider proposals for talks of different lengths.
Most of the research we discuss here on lambda is theoretical research, done with mathematical tools. But what about research about actual language use, those "human factors" we are so fond of discussing?
Research of the latter kind requires empirical data, the gathering of which, as Ralph Johnson discusses here, may pose ethical problems.
For what it's worth, I agree with Ralph that this is an "idiotic opinion," but it's an issue that might cause problems for some of the grad students reading LtU.
Not really related to this is the fact that doing meaningful research of the kind I am alluding to here is pretty darn hard, in fact quite close to being impossible.
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