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Papers We Love: Aaron Turon on "The Next 700 Programming Languages" by Peter J. Landin

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This month's paper is "The Next 700 Programming Languages" by Peter J. Landin. One of the most influential papers of all time in PL research!

PDF: https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~crary/819-f09/Landin66.pdf

Abstract:

A family of unimplemented computing languages is described that is intended to span differences of application area by a unified framework. This framework dictates the rules about the uses of user-coined names, and the conventions about characterizing functional relationships. Within this framework the design of a specific language splits into two independent parts. One is the choice of written appearances of programs (or more generally, their physical representation). The other is the choice of the abstract entities (such as numbers, character-strings, list of them, functional relations among them) that can be referred to in the language. The system is biased towards “expressions” rather than “statements.” It includes a nonprocedural (purely functional) subsystem that aims to expand the class of users' needs that can be met by a single print-instruction, without sacrificing the important properties that make conventional right-hand-side expressions easy to construct and understand.


What was the last paper you read and loved within the realm of computing? What did it inspire you to build or tinker with? Come share the ideas in an awesome academic/research paper with fellow engineers, programmers, and paper-readers. Lead a session and show off code that you wrote that implements these ideas or just give us the lowdown about the paper. Or, just come, listen, and discuss!


Papers We Love has a code of conduct: https://github.com/papers-we-love/portland/blob/master/code-of-conduct.md

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