While in Tokyo we attended the Lightweight Language Future conference. Talks were given by
, the inventor of Perl, and
Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto
, the inventor of Ruby. Larry's talk on Perl 6 was very interesting. I didn't realize Perl 6 was so flexible as to almost be a meta-language. I've never been a fan of Perl but I have to admit, Perl 6 has some really nice features. Larry covered language dialects and
(domain specific languages.) I've always been interested in the idea of language dialects and language oriented programming. After the talk they opened up the floor for one question. I had a number of language related questions I wanted to ask, but I decided not to be the jerky American that took up the one question slot at a Japanese conference. A guy two rows in front of me raised his hand and asked if migrating from Perl 5 to Perl 6 was hard. I was overcome with murderous feelings. I would have paid $100 to give that guy a 15 minute noogie. ASK GOOGLE! Mika told me to do my breathing exercises. One of the sessions was titled "The 100 Years Language". The discussion centered around what the most popular programming language would look like 100 years from now. The panel members included Larry, Matz and several prominent Japanese computer scientists. Some of the ideas put forward were visual languages, narrative explanations in plain English, and neural interfaces to the computer. Larry said a 100 years was too far out to make meaningful assumptions but he was certain the next batch of popular programming languages would include embedded DSLs and be accessible to novices while providing advanced features for experts. Matz said programming wouldn't exist as we know it. He
(Japanese only) about his opinions after the conference. After this session they allowed two questions. This time I raised my hand but wasn't selected. The first person picked gave a lecture rather than asking a question. The second said "I didn't hear the word 'security' once during this talk" and then stared at the panel waiting for them to be impressed by his statement. Larry said "Thats a concern of the runtime environment and API." and the session was closed. Two more 15 minute noogies please!
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