Archives for the month of: July, 2008

For those who never heard his name, you’re probably writing code right now in a programming language that has been partly designed by Guy Steele or that has been inspired by a language Guy Steel designed. He started with Scheme, together with Gerald-Jay Sussman. He’s still very much involved with Common Lisp. He’s also one of the designers behind Java and co-edited the first version of ECMAScript (aka Javascript). And he’s now working on Fortress. So he has a few interesting things to say about programming languages.

InfoQ just published an interview with him, so if you’re interested in the tools you spend most time using for programming everyday, go check it out. It’s a pretty good overview of the landscape.

Programming languages should be designed not by piling feature on top of feature, but by removing the weaknesses and restrictions that make additional features appear necessary.

The first snarky remark is that, last time I checked, Scheme (and any Lisp for that matter), wasn’t much used at all, so maybe a few additional features wouldn’t hurt. Or would it? A rather painful realization is that Scheme packs more power in a 50 pages specification than all other languages I know. Unless you’re cultivating a type-system fetish, maybe.


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