[Tutor] OT self-implementation?
Michael P. Reilly
arcege at gmail.com
Sat Jul 2 04:18:24 CEST 2005
On 7/1/05, Brian van den Broek <bvande at po-box.mcgill.ca> wrote:
> Hi all,
> a bit off topic for Python Tutor, but I am think there are decent odds
> that folks here both know good resources and have an idea of what
> level would be appropriate for me. So, I hope no one minds.
> A recent thread on comp.lang.python has touched on to what extent C
> was written in C. I know PyPy aims to implement Python in Python. I
> believe I've heard that many lisp fans think you don't have a language
> unless you can write the language's interpreter in the language
> itself. (Perhaps one or more of these claims is a bit inaccurate, but
> the substance seems right.)
> This sounds, to the untutored, rather like magic. (It reminds me of a
> line from the German mathematician and philosopher, Gottlob Frege,
> who, in a book on the foundations of arithmetic, characterized an
> opposing position as akin to "trying to pull yourself out of the swamp
> by your own top-knot" -- which, I can only assume, is even funnier in
> the original 19th c. German ;-) Naively, one thinks that to write
> anything in C, you'd have to *have* C to write in, etc.
> Now's not the time in my life to start a comp. sci. degree. So, my
> questions are:
> 1) What would be good terms to google for to find an explanation of
> how the seeming magic doesn't violate all reason?
> 2) Much harder, so please pass unless you've a link you know of
> off-hand: any recommendations of particular things that I could read?
If you are interested in a more abstract explanation on this, you can read
up on one reason why lisp programmers are such fans of writting lisp
interpreters in lisp: Turing Machines (TM). Abstract computer constructs
that, arguably, are equivalent to your desktop computer in terms of
programming. They are really for theoretical research, especially good for
algorithm creation. But one of the early algorithms was to create a TM with
You'll be able to find a lot more hits on any web search.
There's so many different worlds,
So many different suns.
And we have just one world,
But we live in different ones.
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