are int, float, long, double, side-effects of computer engineering?

Xah Lee xahlee at gmail.com
Tue Mar 6 07:34:46 CET 2012


On Mar 5, 9:26 pm, Tim Roberts <t... at probo.com> wrote:
> Xah Lee <xah... at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >some additional info i thought is relevant.
>
> >are int, float, long, double, side-effects of computer engineering?
>
> Of course they are.  Such concepts violate the purity of a computer
> language's abstraction of the underlying hardware.  We accept that
> violation because of performance reasons.  There are, as you point out,
> languages that do maintain the purity of the abstraction, but that purity
> is ALWAYS at the expense of performance.
>
> I would also point out pre-emptively that there is nothing inherently wrong
> with asking us to accept an impure abstraction in exchange for performance.
> It is a performance choice that we choose to make.

while what you said is true, but the problem is that 99.99% of
programers do NOT know this. They do not know Mathematica. They've
never seen a language with such feature. The concept is alien. This is
what i'd like to point out and spread awareness.

also, argument about raw speed and fine control vs automatic
management, rots with time. Happened with auto memory management,
managed code, compilers, auto type conversion, auto extension of
array, auto type system, dynamic/scripting languages, etc.

i'd share this these talks:

〈Programing Language: Steve Yegge on Dynamic Languages〉
http://xahlee.org/comp/Steve_Yegge_on_dynamic_languages.html

〈Guy Steele on Parallel Programing: Get rid of cons!〉
http://xahlee.org/comp/Guy_Steele_parallel_computing.html

〈Ocaml Use in Industry (Janestreet Talk by Yaron Minsky)〉
http://xahlee.org/comp/Yaron_Minsky_Janestreet_talk.html

〈Stephen Wolfram: The Background and Vision of Mathematica 〉
http://xahlee.blogspot.com/2011/10/stephen-wolfram-background-and-vision.html

 Xah



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