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Download e-book for iPad: ACM Turing Award Lectures : The First Twenty Years : 1966 to by Susan Graham and Robert Ashenhurst (Edited and Introduction

By Susan Graham and Robert Ashenhurst (Edited and Introduction by)

ISBN-10: 0201077949

ISBN-13: 9780201077940

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Additional resources for ACM Turing Award Lectures : The First Twenty Years : 1966 to 1985 (ACM Press Anthology Series)

Sample text

Lists turn o lt to be better than arrays for such representation, since syntax is a set of nesting and substitution constraints, and so are list structure modification rules. AI'L and pipelining have suffered because of this inequity between arrays and lists. New versions of APL are attempting to redress this inequity. Programming is becoming a ubiquitous activity, and strong efforts are being made to standardize a few languages (models, too). Thus far we have resisted such a limitation, and we are wise to have done so.

There seem to be three major conditions that must be fulfilled. The world at large must recognize the need for the change; secondly, the economic need for it must be sufficiently strong; and, thirdly, the change must be technically feasible. Let me discuss these three conditions in the above order. With respect to the recognition of the need for greater reliability of software, I expect no disagreement anymore. Only a few years ago this was different: to talk about a software crisis was blasphemy.

It is now nearly 25 years later and the computing scene has changed dramatically, but the notion of basic software is still with us, and the notion of the closed subroutine is still one of the key concepts in programming. We should recognize the closed subroutine as one of the greatest software inventions; it has survived three generations of computers and it will survive a few more, because it caters for the implementation of one of our basic patterns of abstraction. Regrettably enough, its importance has been underestimated in the design of the third generation computers, in which the great number of explicitly named registers of the arithmetic unit implies a large overhead on the subroutine mechanism.

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ACM Turing Award Lectures : The First Twenty Years : 1966 to 1985 (ACM Press Anthology Series) by Susan Graham and Robert Ashenhurst (Edited and Introduction by)


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