[ProgSoc] Progsoc debate?

Thomas Given-Wilson sanguinev at progsoc.org
Tue Apr 8 09:50:30 EST 2008

> Along those lines but maybe a bit broader ... how about:
> "Text as an interface" vs "Stabilize the platform, advance the tools"
> Those are crappy names but what I'm trying to describe is the growing
> rift between the python/ruby/perl camp who employ parsing & runtime
> tricks to shorten their line-count - sometimes creating new mini
> languages (or dialects of the original language) - and the Java/C#
> camp who favor a less malleable runtime and more explicit syntax so
> they can do cool stuff at the tool level with static analysis of the
> code.
> I personally don't get how Java guys put up with "public static final
> ..." but I've met some really good developers who think it's insane to
> drop someone into a codebase where method names don't complete (and
> can therefore be misspelled or the wrong argument signature can be
> used) and you can't just double-click around to browse the api.
> Also the choice of topic is probably less important that the choice of
> contestants. Does progsoc arrangement also mean selecting the
> contestants?

I think some of these ideas may be close to some I have been thinking

- Compiled/native code versus script/source (for programs, not as a
  business philosophy - e.g. C/C++ versus perl/php)

- Strong versus weak typing in programming languages

- Can "self documenting code" work?

Also can someone clarify what is meant by "Functional languages vs.
functional languages with limited/no side effects (real world vs. 
academic)"? Or at least provide examples such as:
- Functional: ML, Haskell, Javascript
- Functional without side effects: Mathlab(?!)
Or does Haskell fit in "limited" side effects due to monads?

As for who will be involved in the debate, we have had interest from Sun
(and some interest from others) with respect to the business side. For
academia I am expecting these will be UTS staff (although I may look
further field if necessary). So to make it easier (at least for the
first one we do) it would be nice to have a topic that UTS is
knowledgable about.


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