What is Expressiveness in a Computer Language

Pascal Costanza pc at p-cos.net
Fri Jun 23 14:01:51 CEST 2006

Marshall wrote:
> Joe Marshall wrote:
>> That's the important point:  I want to run broken code.
> I want to make sure I understand. I can think of several things
> you might mean by this. It could be:
> 1) I want to run my program, even though I know parts of it
> are broken, because I think there are parts that are not broken
> and I want to try them out.
> 2) I want to run my program, even though it is broken, and I
> want to run right up to a broken part and trap there, so I can
> use the runtime facilities of the language to inspect what's
> going on.
>> I want to run
>> as much of the working fragments as I can, and I want a `safety net' to
>> prevent me from performing undefined operations, but I want the safety
>> net to catch me at the *last* possible moment.
> This statement is interesting, because the conventional wisdom (at
> least as I'm used to hearing it) is that it is best to catch bugs
> at the *first* possible moment. But I think maybe we're talking
> about different continua here. The last last last possible moment
> is after the software has shipped to the customer, and I'm pretty
> sure that's not what you mean. I think maybe you mean something
> more like 2) above.

Nowadays, we have more options wrt what it means to "ship" code. It 
could be that your program simply runs as a (web) service to which you 
have access even after the customer has started to use the program. See 
http://www.paulgraham.com/road.html for a good essay on this idea.


3rd European Lisp Workshop
July 3 - Nantes, France - co-located with ECOOP 2006

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