Matt Morrow moonpatio at gmail.com
Thu Apr 16 20:21:19 EDT 2009

Here are some choice-quotes that are one of {insightful, controversial,

Starting with my favorite quote ;):

"The ability to operate on the program as data is basic to the provision of
many desirable utilities, e.g. the Boyer-Moore theorem prover, and the
transformation work that was based on Hope, not to mention a compiler.
It seems unfortunate that recent functional languages are heteroousian in
sense that they are defined in the usual computer scientist's way of
a syntax, and not specifying a representation of a program as a
data-structure. This is a manifestation of the besetting vice of computer
scientists - they will insist in locking up goodies in a black box..."

On Lisp:

"There is a danger that this perspective will adversely affect the design of
language from the user's point of view. The most extreme case is that of
which may be seen as a very flawed implementation of the Lambda Calculus,
which preserves the notation rather closely."

On Haskell syntax:

"However, if the use of upper case is not permitted for
ordinary variables a conflict arises between the language conventions and
conventions of mathematics,...."
"Haskell is also in conflict with established programming conventions in
it it uses double colon to denote membership of a type (e.g. x::Int) rather
than the single colon that those millions of existing programmers will be
familiar with,.."

On Haskell arrays:

"The Haskell array operation is a related construct, from which a instances
the application of the POP-11 newarray could be implemented - it does
suffer from one practical draw-back, namely it takes an association list as
argument, which makes it inefficient as a means of memoising a function,
unless a very smart compiler is used."

On purity:

"I want a language that is not purely functional because functional
languages do not reflect the basic structure of computers. If you want to
write a matrix inversion algorithm it will be hard to do it efficiently
without assignment."


On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 7:04 PM, Matt Morrow <moonpatio at gmail.com> wrote:

> This is interesting (and from 1990):
> http://groups.google.co.uk/group/comp.lang.functional/msg/655bb7bbd0fd8586
> (Not sure if this is well-known. It seems like it either is, or it should
> be. Either way, I just stumbled across it.)
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