Lang.NET Symposium

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July 31, 2006

Lang.NET Symposium

I am currently blogging from the Lang.NET symposium, held at the Microsoft campus. There are a number of interesting lectures today about Spec#, IronPython, Ruby.Net, AppleScript, etc, all today; there will even be more tomorrow and the day after.

I have met with Erik Meijer, Haskell coinventer, whose papers I have frequently based my posts on. Erik remarked that he and Paul Vick, VB dev lead, joked that I must have a mole at Microsoft. I plead the fifth and then slowly hid my invisibility cloak from view.

I took him to task for his comment in a channel 9 video in which he believed that we will always need multiple language for different specialized tasks. I believed that with better support for integrated DSLs, we could still actually have a single-uber language for all problems. Amanda, PM in the VB team, was also there.

I met with Anders Hejlsberg, technical fellow at Microsoft, and asked him two of my most pressing questions.

1) Support for declarative programming. I remarked to Anders that C# seems to headed towards greater support for embedded DSLs with the introduction of object initializers and expression trees.

2) Support for symbolic computation in the framework including computer algebra and theorem proving. I inquired whether that the incorporation of expression trees foreshadow such advancements.

In both cases, Anders indicated that, while my ideas are interesting, the  focus, for now, was integrated query. Afterwards, Anders stated that he reads my blog and that I had some good posts. A few other attendees recognized my name from my blog.

In addition,  I saw other well-known people for the first time, Miguel de Icaza, who heads the Mono project and previously commented about my XAML and standards post, Jim Huginin, developer of IronPython (now in RC1), Christopher Diggins, creator of the Heron and Cat programming language.


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