Thursday, June 28, 2012

What I've been reading

If you want to impress your coworkers with terms like cobordism: Physics, Topology, Logic and Computation: A Rosetta Stone:
A simple diagram ... can now be seen as a quantum process, a tangle, a computation — or an abstract morphism in any braided monoidal category! This is just the sort of thing one would hope for in a general science of systems and processes.
An Applicative Control-Flow Graph Based on Huet’s Zipper. Somebody actually used FP in the real world -- well, to write a compiler -- and can report that it did indeed in fact work. Related, here's my favorite zipper tutorial.

Resumable exceptions can macro-express delimited dynamic variables. Because you can never test your intuition enough.

More links: Ian Piumarta's liboop; Eric Torreborre on total FP; VeriML; automatic scoping and destructor functionality in C.

HT Paul Snively, Daniel Yokomizo, Patrick Thomson.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


PLT is a resentful business - there are so many accolades for blowhards, it can be hard to stomach.

Thankfully, the writer Vladimir Nabokov offers a remedy: the word poshlust:
Let me refer to one more method of dealing with literature- and this is the simplest and perhaps most important one. If you hate a book, you may still derive artistic delight from imagining other and better ways of looking at things, or, what is the same, expressing things, than the author you hate does.The mediocre, the false, the poshlust-remember that word-can at least afford a mischievous but very healthy pleasure, as you stamp and groan through a second-rate book which has been awarded a prize.
He also has advice for dealing with the good stuff:
But the books you like must be read with shudders and gasps. Let me submit the following practical suggestion. Literature, real literature, must not be gulped like some potion which may be good for the heart or good for the brain-the brain, that stomach of the soul. Literature must be taken and broken to bits, pulled apart, squashed-then its lovely reek will be smelt in the hollow of the palm, it will be munched and rolled upon the tongue with relish; then, only then, its rare flavour will be appreciated at its true worth and the broken and crushed parts will again come together in your mind and disclose the beauty of a unity to which you have contributed something of your own blood.
What PLT made you shudder and gasp? For me, the first things that come to mind are Kernel, the MOP, Ī©mega, and A monadic framework for delimited continuations.