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Extra info for ACM, Programming languages -- Past, Present, and Future - Sixteen Prominent Computer Scientiest Assess Our Field

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S e g h i : I believe that although there are hundreds of languages, the concepts that they are based on are relatively unchanging. And so getting a firm grounding in what the basis of a language is and how they are put together is very helpful, because if languages are going to change, then people need to be able to adapt, and it helps to adapt if you know the basics, and don't end up becoming a religious fanatic for any one language. (laughs) S m i t h : What dent, if they're themselves to a as many as they SteS[8: I'd suggest to an undergraduate stuinterested in this field, is to expose variety of languages, and try to learn can.

In the near term, two things may happen: we're going to be able to implement very high level languages, even domain specific languages, and properlydesigned programming languages may make the individual user of personal computers into a potent programmer. Then we will really begin to see increases in software productivity. M a c l ~ u 8 8 1 1 : I think programming languages is a fascinating field, because it's the first time that human beings have set out to consciously create artificial languages, with the exception of phonetics for a few languages like Esperanto.

Tanenbaum: Be sure to spend lots of time de- signing. Wegmarl: Take what you have learned and adopt it to the new situations that you find. Wulf: I don't have an answer difterent from the undergraduate answer. With respect t o programming languages, what advice would you give somebody about to cnter our field as: d) a rcscarcher A h o : Same as graduate student. A l l e n : I would say this: developing new languages is notoriously hard, especially to make them popular; to get them widely used. And people get discouraged about doing language research in part because of that.

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