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

Jason Wilkins jason.a.wilkins at gmail.com
Fri Apr 19 02:31:08 EDT 2013

I don't quite think I understand what you are saying.  Are you saying that
mathematical models are not a good foundation for computer science because
computers are really made out of electronic gates?

All I need to do is show that my model reduces to some basic physical
implementation (with perhaps some allowances for infinity) and then I can
promptly forget about that messy business and proceed to use my
clean mathematical model.

The reason any model of computation exists is that it is easier to think
about a problem in some terms than in others.  By showing how to transform
one model to another you make it possible to choose exactly how you wish to
solve a problem.

The reason we do not work directly in what are called "von Neumann
machines" is that they are not convenient for all kinds of problems.
 However we can build a compiler to translate anything to anything else so
we I don't see why anybody would care.

On Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 5:53 PM, Mark Janssen <dreamingforward at gmail.com>wrote:

> [ The Types Forum, http://lists.seas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/types-list]
> 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
> paramount).
> 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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