[MUD-Dev] Re: Prepositions and parsing

Chris Gray cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA
Sat May 17 10:02:28 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

:The point is that important issues, such as backtracking, are very
:easy to solve with the new paradigms you can learn by learning
:broad range of languages and tricks used to make those languages
:execute fast.

Definitely. However, it would be a mistake to assume that many of the
techniques are necessarily *new* to the current round of languages.
Backtracking, for example, has been around for about 20 years (guessing).
I first saw it in the pattern matching of SNOBOL, and Griswald (sp?)
expanded it in Icon. I did a lot of reading of AI languages for my
thesis, too many years ago. I think there was a language called "POP-4"
(or something like that) that I quite liked, and which had lots of
nifty ideas. It died out within a year or two, however. I think one of
the things I liked was that it had nifty constructs embedded in a
language with a fairly standard syntax. Try as I might, I have never
found myself as proficient (especially when trying to read someone else's
code!) in a language with a non-standard syntax, as I am in one with
fairly vanilla syntax.

Chris Gray   cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA

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