Friday, September 3, 2010

From Choosing VMs to Feng Shui for HCI

There's a nice discussion going on in the LtU thread Choosing a VM for a concurrent language. Some quotes, out of context:

Sean McDirmid:
I'm sick and tired of PL papers that present a novel language idea and then justify it with...a formal model...huh? This is a logical fallacy of the shaggy dog variety.
David Barbour:
developing a new language is also nigh completely pointless unless there is something useful and interesting you can say about it. ...

Usage doesn't justify a design. Valid technical design seems to be a relatively minor factor in market success. ...

most attempts to achieve 'ease-of-use' and 'ergonomics' involve guidance by reasoned principles... a sort of Feng Shui for HCI (which holistically includes PL).
Matt Hellige:
Programming languages are tools that require significant investment of time to learn to use well. To a large degree, their value is measured in terms of how valuable they are to the people who know them best.

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