University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science
CS655: Programming Languages, Spring 2000

Manifest: Tuesday 11 April 2000
Assignments Due
Today (in class)Problem Set 3
Monday, 17 April (11:59pm)Position Paper 5
Friday, 28 AprilProject Final Report


Readings Policy for Remainder of Course

All readings from now until the end of the course are officially optional. This means the final exam will not contain any questions that rely on material that is only covered in those readings. Material presented in lecture based on the optional readings (and covered by the manifest questions) may be covered in the final exam.

My hope is that by this point in the course, you have all been exposed to enough programming languages topics to decide if this is an area in which you will do research or pursue further study. You should read the abstract or introduction to every paper, and decide whether or not it is worth reading the rest based on your own interests. You should use the time you save choosing not to read certain paper to work on your course project or your independent research.

To be discussed Thursday 13 April (handed out today):

· David Gelernter. Domesticating Parallelism. IEEE Computer, Guest Editorial, August 1986.
· Sudhir Ahuja, Nicholas Carriero and David Gelernter. Linda and Friends. IEEE Computer, August 1986.
An approach to concurrent programming based on a simple model. Sun's JavaSpaces is based on Linda.

To be discussed Tuesday 18 April (handed out today):

· Gregor Kiczales, et. al. Aspect-Oriented Programming. European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP), June 1997.
Aspect-Oriented Programming is gaining a lot of interest in the research community, but it remains to be seen if it will have much influence elsewhere.
· Cristina Videira Lopes and Gregor Kiczales. D: A Language Framework for Distributed Programming. XEROX PARC Technical Report, February 1997.
If the first paper didn't convince you of Aspect-Oriented Programming's usefulness, this paper describes a more concrete system built around aspect-oriented programming ideas.


Dr. Gelernter:

People with advanced degrees aren't as smart as they think they are. If you'd had any brains you would have realized that there are a lot of people out there who resent bitterly the way techno-nerds like you are changing the world and you wouldn't have been dumb enough to open an unexpected package from an unknown source.

In the epilog of your book, "Mirror Worlds," you tried to justify your research by claiming that the developments you describe are inevitable, and that any college person can learn enough about computers to compete in a computer-dominated world. Apparently, people without a college degree don't count. In any case, being informed about computers won't enable anyone to prevent invasion of privacy (through computers), genetic engineering (to which computers make an important contribution), environmental degradation through excessive economic growth (computers make an important contribution to economic growth) and so forth.

As for the inevitability argument, if the developments you describe are inevitable, they are not inevitable in the way that old age and bad weather are inevitable. They are inevitable only because techno-nerds like you make them inevitable. If there wereno computer scientists there would be no progress in computerscience. If you claim you are justified in pursuing your research because the developments involved are inevitable, then you may as well say that theft is inevitable, therefore we shouldn't blame thieves.

But we do not believe that progress and growth are inevitable.

We'll have more to say about that later.

Letter from the Unabomber to David Gelernter, April 1995 (two years after sending him a bomb)

I couldn't care less what the man's views on technology are or what message he intended to deliver; the message I got was that in any society, no matter how rich, just and free, you can rely on there being a certain number of evil cowards. I thank him for passing it along, but I knew that anyway. ... The bright side, so to speak, of grave injury, discomfort and nearness to death is that you emerge with a clear fix on what the heart treasures. Mostly I didn't learn anything new but had the satisfaction of having my hunches confirmed. I emerged knowing that, as I had always suspected, the time I spend with my wife and boys is all that matters in the end.

David Gelernter in Time magazine after Kaczynski's arrest, April 1996.

CS 655 University of Virginia
CS 655: Programming Languages
Last modified: Thu Apr 26 12:30:39 2001