Wednesday, October 25, 2006

OOPSLA 2006: Day 2, Wednesday, October 25

Today I went to a keynote address, a product demo, then a half-day tutorial.

The Keynote: By Guy Steele, gave an overview of a new language that he and his team are developing at Sun. The language is named "Fortress" and focuses on parallelism, and extensibility. Some years ago, he gave a keynote at OOPSLA advocating the position that languages must be grown gradually since they have become too complex to designed completely up front. Fortress approaches this by making the language itself fairly low-level in some ways, with much of the functionality (like a lot of the type system) that is normally part of the compiler actually part of the libraries. Programmers will be able to provide libraries that enhance operators and types, as well as provide alternative implementation of standard library functions.

Another really interesting aspect of this language is that there are facilities in the language itself for keeping track of components and versions of components in use. It sounds like some sort of SCM system built-in.

The tutorial: A kick-start for "Ruby on Rails". It was fun to actually do some programming this week after spending several days now listening to how other people have been developing software.

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