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Collaborative articulation of how abstraction and language is employed in the computational manifestation of numbers -- including analysis of the role of syntax, semantics, and meaning in the specification and use of software interfaces.



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2006-07-30

 

Preparing for the Lang.NET Symposium

Lang.NET Symposium Agenda.  The agenda for lang.NET is available and I am using this delightful Sunday afternoon to prepare for three days in Redmond.  The first project is working out the bus routes and schedules between West Seattle and the Microsoft Campus.  Then I’ll prepare Quadro, my Tablet PC, with materials I wish I had already dug into but I just might while there.  This is a bit like filling my luggage with books to read and then bringing them home still unread after a short vacation.  I need to move some of my functional-programming and computation-theory materials to Quadro anyhow, so the housekeeping will be good for me.  And I do like reading while commuting by bus.

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My main interest is the content for the three days, although it will be interesting to actually see the Microsoft Store.  Being in Building 20, the home of Port25, will also be interesting.  It is also remarkable that this event was scheduled to take advantage of people already traveling to be at OSCON last week.

And then there’s the content.  Before there was an agenda, I was intrigued by organizer Erik Meijer’s involvement and his background with Haskell.  I’ve always wanted to understand Haskell’s treatment of imperative and interactive activity.  My toy miniature functional system, oMiser, is purely mathematical and one challenge is to see how to embrace interaction and imperative (stateful) activity while somehow preserving the amenability of as much of the "pure" elements to mathematical rigor as possible.  I keep thinking it is about McCarthy-Painter semantics and I keep wondering if that is enough, along with a way to tell pure operations from ones that aren’t or that aren’t determined to be. 

It is a desire to become more immersed in these topics that had me install F# recently, download the latest Mono bits, make sure I have the ECMA C# and CLI specifications, and be looking forward to the following sessions:

  • Anders Helsjberg (Microsoft) on LINQ and C# 3.0
    but mainly because I like how Anders talks, share his love for ALGOL 60, and, heh, he doesn’t have a blog that I can find
      
  •  Jim Hugunin (Microsoft) on IronPython and dynamically typed languages on the Common Language Runtime (CLR)
      
  • C21.1: Versioning in the TwentyFirst Century
    because I’m curious and some cures for DLL hell seem to be worse than the disease, if that’s possible
      
  • William Cook (U. Texas at Austin) on AppleScript and the Effect of Latency on Programming Languages
     
  • Mike Barnett (Microsoft) on Spec# and Why Every Language Should (Will) Have Contracts
      
  • Gilad Bracha (Sun Microsystems) on Dynamically Typed Languages on the Java Platform
      
  • Gary William Flake (Microsoft) on the Internet Singularity (and Microsoft Live Labs)
      
  • Shriram Krishnamurthi (Brown Univesity) on Interactive Web Applications (and PLT Scheme)
    and how many different ways his name is misspelled everywhere
      
  • Miguel de Icaza (Novell) on Mono
      
  • Second Life (and maybe how they will stop forcing downloads on us devoted non-admin users)
      
  • Don Syme (Microsoft) on F# and HOT Languages on the CLR
      
  • Phoenix (to find out if they really can do all of that starting from compiled code)

There’s more, including Open Spaces sessions, but I’m already running on overdose.

If I blog about any of these sessions and other activities, I will doubtless split my posts between Numbering Peano and Professor von Clueless, depending on which way I tilt during the session.

[update 2006–08–03: I changed the tag to agree with the one requested at the symposium.  I also got tremendous value from the symposium along with meeting many interesting people.  Even so, I missed Harry Pierson being in the room on Monday.]

 
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