[TYPES] The type/object distinction and possible synthesis of OOP and imperative programming languages

Mark Janssen dreamingforward at gmail.com
Thu Apr 18 18:53:15 EDT 2013

On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 2:53 AM, Moez AbdelGawad <moezadel at outlook.com> wrote:
>> I'm not quite sure I understand your question, but I'll give it a shot.
>> :-)
> I'm in this same camp too :)

I am very thankful for the references given by everyone.
Unfortunately my library does not have the titles and it will be some
time before I can acquire them.  I hope it not too intrusive to offer
a few points that I've garnered from this conversation until I can
study the history further.

The main thing that I notice is that there is a heavy "bias" in
academia towards mathematical models.  I understand that Turing
Machines, for example, were originally abstract computational concepts
before there was an implementation in hardware, so I have some
sympathies with that view, yet, should not the "Science" of "Computer
Science" concern itself with how to map these abstract computational
concepts into actual computational hardware?  Otherwise, why not keep
the field within mathematics and philosophy (where Logic traditionally
has been)?   I find it remarkable, for example, that the simple
continued application of And/Or/Not gates can perform all the
computation that C.S. concerns itself with and these form the basis
for computer science in my mind, along with Boolean logic.  (The
implementation of digital logic into physical hardware is where C.S.
stops and Engineering begins, I would argue.)

But still, it seems that there are two ends, two poles, to the whole
computer science enterprise that haven't been sufficiently *separated*
so that they can be appreciated:  logic gates vs. logical "calculus"
and symbols.   There is very little crossover as I can see.  Perhaps
the problem is the common use of the Greek root "logikos"; in the
former, it pertains to binary arithmetic, where in the latter, it
retains it's original Greek pertaining to *speech* and symbols,
"logos").  Further, one can notice that in the former, the progression
has been towards more sophisticated Data Structures (hence the
evolution towards Object-Orientation), where in the latter (I'm
guessing, since it's not my area of expertise) the progression has
been towards function sophistication (where recursion seems to be

In any case, I look forward to diving into the books and references
you've all offered so generously so that I can appreciate the field
and its history better.

Mark Janssen
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, Washington

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