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Sun 20 - Tue 22 June 2021
co-located with PLDI 2021
Mary Shaw

Registered user since Sat 22 Aug 2015

Name:Mary Shaw

Mary Shaw once designed traditional general-purpose programming languages, even languages with support for formal specification and verification, but realized that the real action is in the high-level organization of systems and turned to architecture description languages, whereupon the High Church of Programming Languages read her out as a heretic. In this journey to apostasy she

  • accepted aliasing as dangerous but not evil, in the late 1970’s
  • renounced belief in the assignment axiom, in the late 1970’s
  • realized that types were added to programming languages to document broad intent and provide early warning of problems in execution, in the early 1980’s
  • never accepted objects as the one and true path
  • disavowed complete formally verified specifications of correctness, in the mid 1980’s
  • embraced little languages for lightweight programming, in the late 1980’s
  • decided that the right abstractions are more important than formal elegance and so espoused first-class architectural connectors, in the early 1990’s
  • acknowledged that cost-effectiveness in context has higher priority than pure correctness, in the mid 1990’s
  • recognized that most code doesn’t matter enough to need rigorous validation, around the turn of the century
  • anticipates more heresies yet to come
Affiliation:Carnegie Mellon University


HOPL IV Myths and Mythconceptions: What does it mean to be a programming language, anyhow?
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