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Next-Paradigm Programming Languages: What Will They Look Like and What Changes Will They Bring?

RelationalAI

01 January 2019

less than a minute read

Next-Paradigm Programming Languages: What Will They Look Like and What Changes Will They Bring?

What will be the common principles behind next-paradigm, high-productivity programming languages, and how will they change everyday program development?

Author: Yannis Smaragdakis. 2019.

In Proceedings of the 2019 ACM SIGPLAN International Symposium on New Ideas, New Paradigms, and Reflections on Programming and Software (Onward! ‘19).

The dream of programming language design is to bring about orders-of-magnitude productivity improvements in software development tasks. Designers can endlessly debate on how this dream can be realized and on how close we are to its realization. Instead, I would like to focus on a question with
an answer that can be, surprisingly, clearer: what will be the common principles behind next-paradigm, high-productivity programming languages, and how will they change everyday program development? Based on my decade-plus experience of heavy-duty development in declarative languages, I speculate that certain tenets of high-productivity languages are inevitable. These include, for instance, enormous variations in performance (including automatic transformations that change the asymptotic complexity of algorithms); a radical change in a programmer’s workflow, elevating testing from a near-menial task to an act of deep understanding; and a change in the need for formal proofs.

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