[MUD-Dev] TECH: programming languages (was: Re: TECH: STL / Heaps, etc.)

Bruce Mitchener bruce at puremagic.com
Tue Aug 21 11:45:38 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Ola Fosheim Grøstad wrote:
> Bruce Mitchener wrote:
>> Ola Fosheim Grøstad wrote:

>>> Not really sure how a different imperative implementation
>>> language is going to get you to a new type of server?

>> Languages impose constraints upon the space of what is easily
>> achievable and their assumptions shape the design of a system.
>> While many of the differences will be within the implementation,
>> that doesn't render them irrelevant.

> Hmm... I think most imperative languages are rather Algol like,
> but I guess you are right in the sense that a lot of languages
> produce a lot of disturbing source-code bloat when you try to use
> certain approaches.  Efficiency considerations and the lack of
> design in C++ which leads to horrible function objects is one
> example... (For some reason it seems to be modern to promote
> verbosity as if that improved legibility; STL, Java.)

> If set-oriented languages had been efficient... :-) Dream on.

...(EdNote: Quote massively trimmed)...


Generally speaking, I'm not going to respond in a point-by-point
manner, but I will say that I disagree with many aspects of your
post quoted above and the assumptions that would appear to underlie
what you wrote.

For example, high level languages need not be slow.  Techniques that
have been refined over the last 2 decades for efficient
implementations have paid off well.  The definition of 'slow' is
also something that isn't easily defined without greater surrounding
context and an evaluation of what's important in a project.

Further, I think that you've conflated the idea of 'new type of
server' with 'new type of game'.  But I think I've mentioned that in
a previous post. :)

To me, it seems that you seek extreme changes and undervalue the
benefits and possibilities offered by more subtle ones.  I've been
working on production, large-scale systems for some time and have
seen the effects of things that I've been referring to.  Small
changes, that don't involve changing the programming language, or
even the outward appearance of an implementation technique (like
state persistence), drastically, can have huge impacts.


   - Bruce

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