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Didier Verna's scientific blog: Lisp, Emacs, LaTeX and random stuff.


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Tuesday, October 23 2007

FP & DL: the future of OO (OOPSLA'07 again)

Some cool surprises at the "Celebrating 40 years of language evolution" panel this morning...

Under the general assumption that the next challenge to come in computer science is distribution / concurrency, I was quite puzzled to notice a general agreement from the panelers that the future in programming languages is going to be more functionnal than ever. I was not puzzled because I don't believe that will be the case (of course I believe so); I was puzzled to hear that coming out loud in a conference on Object Orientation.

Of course, it's not so surprising once you realize that there are people like Guy Steele among the panelers, but still, you know, it's comforting. It's good to hear. I'm also thankful to Guy for mentionning Lisp twice during the panel, once when talking about the Yahoo Store originally written in Common Lisp, and the next time, to compare Lisp to a black hole: once a language begins to look like Lisp, it is irrevocably sucked into it. Sure thing. Nobody blinked. Like if the whole crowd knew Lisp was the answer, and had nothing to reply. Strange feeling :-)

And the same guys, right in the open, complaining because the problem with OOPSLA is that there are too many papers on how to add XXX to Java. How cool to hear that! I wish they would go to ECOOP and say "the problem with ECOOP is that there are too many papers on how to add YYY to Eclipse"...

And then there was this guy from Microsoft, declaring that he was amazed at what the dynamic languages folks were doing, like meta-programming and stuff, and he believed that what we do in dynamic languages today is what will be done in static languages in the future.

Well, you know, after a panel like that, life suddenly seems beautiful.:-)

OOPSLA ! But no cigar...

So, you know, OOPSLA is a nice conference (it's nicer than ECOOP, by the way). Apart from one thing. Today I was deeply shocked when I discovered that lunch is not included in the conference fee (only people attending tutorials get to eat something).

This is the first time ever that I attend a conference, especially of that size, which doesn't provide sustentation for the attendees. A true scandal, if you ask me.

On the other hand, if the food is what I believe it is, seing the guys coming out of the lunch room, I think I'll consider myself lucky to have to get food by myself...

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