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On Sat, 2008-05-10 at 14:52 +0900, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

> Michael T. Richter wrote:
> > I'm not sure that this is a meaningful question.  What problems did 
> > *any* language past patch cabling circuit boards solve?  If you set the 
> > bar low enough (or high enough) all current computer languages are 
> > imperfect reflections of a Turing machine anyway.  (Yes, even the 
> > functional ones based on Church instead of Turing.  They're just REALLY 
> > obfuscated.)



> Actually, I think it's Turing and Von Neumann that were obfuscated -- 
> Church and McCarthy got it right. ;)



Mathematically I agree with you, but in terms of hardware underlying all
this stuff it's basically a real-world Turing machine.  (Which is what
the von Neumann architecture is: Turing's machine turned into something
that could actually be implemented.  Things like "infinite tapes" and
"infinite decision tables" turned out, surprisingly, to be implausible
at point of implementation. :D)

Church's model of calculation is far more appealing to me and the
languages based on it -- Lisp (arguably: there's some evidence that
McCarthy stumbled over this rather than deliberately trying to model
Church), Haskell, etc. -- are increasingly the way I like to work.  But
it's all smoke and mirrors.  Underneath it all is a von Neumann machine
masquerading as a Church lambda expression engine.

-- 
Michael T. Richter <ttmrichter / gmail.com> (GoogleTalk:
ttmrichter / gmail.com)
There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to make
it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. And the other way
is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.
(Charles Hoare)

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On Sat, 2008-05-10 at 14:52 +0900, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:
<BLOCKQUOTE TYPE=CITE>
<PRE>
<FONT COLOR="#000000">Michael T. Richter wrote:</FONT>
<FONT COLOR="#000000">&gt; I'm not sure that this is a meaningful question.  What problems did </FONT>
<FONT COLOR="#000000">&gt; *any* language past patch cabling circuit boards solve?  If you set the </FONT>
<FONT COLOR="#000000">&gt; bar low enough (or high enough) all current computer languages are </FONT>
<FONT COLOR="#000000">&gt; imperfect reflections of a Turing machine anyway.  (Yes, even the </FONT>
<FONT COLOR="#000000">&gt; functional ones based on Church instead of Turing.  They're just REALLY </FONT>
<FONT COLOR="#000000">&gt; obfuscated.)</FONT>
</PRE>
</BLOCKQUOTE>
<PRE>

</PRE>
<BLOCKQUOTE TYPE=CITE>
<PRE>
<FONT COLOR="#000000">Actually, I think it's Turing and Von Neumann that were obfuscated -- </FONT>
<FONT COLOR="#000000">Church and McCarthy got it right. ;)</FONT>
</PRE>
</BLOCKQUOTE>
<PRE>

</PRE>
Mathematically I agree with you, but in terms of hardware underlying all this stuff it's basically a real-world Turing machine.&nbsp; (Which is what the von Neumann architecture is: Turing's machine turned into something thatould actually be implemented.&nbsp; Things like &quot;infinite tapes&quot; and &quot;infinite decision tables&quot; turned out, surprisingly, to be implausible at point of implementation. :D)<BR>
<BR>
Church's model of calculation is far more appealing to me and the languagesased on it -- Lisp (arguably: there's some evidence that McCarthy stumbled over this rather than deliberately trying to model Church), Haskell, etc.- are increasingly the way I like to work.&nbsp; But it's all smoke and mirrors.&nbsp; Underneath it all is a von Neumann machine masquerading as a Church lambda expression engine.<BR>
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-- <BR>
<B>Michael T. Richter</B> &lt;ttmrichter / gmail.com&gt; (<B>GoogleTalk:</B> ttmrichter / gmail.com)<BR>
<I>There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to maket so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. And the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. (Charles Hoare)</I>
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