Interesting Excerpts from PDC Languages Panel

…the problem is that you know… the pace of innovation is limited by what people can digest, and you cant force things on them too fast, and so you see… some things happen in generations at some level, and it just cannot be otherwise, because you know… you basically need a certain generation of programmers to retire or die off or whatever before you can introduce radically new ideas, because the stage in people’s lives when they really do something completely different passes at some fairly early stage… atleast from my perspective it is a fairly early stage.

…so, keeping it simple, is easier when you don’t have to deal with a committee, because the common assumption is that you know… two heads are better than one, but what you actually get when you have multiple heads is not their union but the intersection, and so its what they can all agree on and kind of negotiate around and it doesn’t work well unless there is somebody in charge …
So you don’t want that, you want to strictly adhere to a very uniform… whether it is functional… all the really beautiful languages basically take something to their logical conclusion… whether it is logic or functions or objects and they dont … mongrelize – hybridize doesn’t have quite the edge that I was looking for – but it is very hard and necessarily to do that in the real world under real time constraints… because in a lot of ways mongrels are very resilient and getting the pure solutions not to be very brittle and to address all the burning immediate needs of people takes time and the time usually does not exist

The interesting thing is that the actor model is a perfect fit with the object capability model, and again, if you take that seriously you find that you can introduce a particular model of concurrency that has much to recommend it with relatively little conceptual overhead, again because you are still… you are reusing these concepts of isolated things that communicate via message passing, bcause… well, the common thread to all these things, to the modularity, to the security, to the concurrency is… there is no global anything, there is no top level thing that is all knowing, that can synchronize everything, and knows about everything, and has a global namespace and so forth, because this is what actually scales… whether you are doing modularity or concurrency or worried about anything else, because you know there isn’t actually something up there in the universe.. the laws of physics work very well because they are distributed, because there is no shared convenient thing that you can appeal to that will sort it all out and if you program that way it tends to unify a lot of things

— By Gilad Bracha

The full session is available here.

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