Links for 2012-05-13

  • An IDE is not enough : Very thought-provoking response to that ‘Light Table’ demo which went round the aggregators a couple of weeks back. ‘The fundamental reason IDEs have dead-ended is that they are constrained by the syntax and semantics of our programming languages. Our programming languages were all designed to be used with a text editor. It is therefore not surprising that our IDEs amount to tarted-up text editors. Likewise our programming languages were all designed with an imperative semantics that efficiently matches the hardware but defies static visualization. Indeed it would be a miracle if we could slap a new IDE on top of an old language and magically alter its syntactic and semantic assumptions. I don’t believe in miracles. Languages and IDEs have co-evolved and neither can change without the other also changing. That is why three years ago I put aside my IDE work to focus on language design. Getting rid of imperative semantics is one of the goals. Another is getting rid of source text files (as well as ASTs, which carry all the baggage of a textual encoding minus the readability). This has turned out to be really really hard. And lonely – no one wants to even talk about these crazy ideas. Nevertheless I firmly believe that so long as we are programming in decendants of assembly language we will continue to program in descendants of text editors.’ (via Chris Horn)
    (tags: via:cjhorn ide programming coding programming-languages semantics syntax source-code text)

  • Open Data Structures : A free-as-in-speech as well as -beer textbook of data structures, covering a great range, including some I hadn’t heard of before. Here’s the full list: ArrayStack, FastArrayStack, ArrayQueue, ArrayDeque, DualArrayDeque, RootishArrayStack, SLList, DLList, SEList, SkiplistSSet, SkiplistList, ChainedHashTable, LinearHashTable, BinaryTree, BinarySearchTree, Treap, ScapegoatTree, RedBlackTree, BinaryHeap, MeldableHeap, AdjacencyMatrix, AdjacencyLists, BinaryTrie, XFastTrie, and YFastTrie
    (tags: algorithms books data-structures computer-science coding tries skiplists arrays queues heap trees graphs hashtables)

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