Sunday, 24 April 2005
Syntax for Distributed Computing
XML is arguably one of the bigger things to come onto industry’s radar for a while, and as a result programming languages (e.g., ECMAScript, Comega, Java) are changing to accommodate it. This isn’t just happening in libraries; the syntax of the languages is changing.
This could be just because of the importance of XML, but I also think that it’s because XML is foreign to most programming models; it doesn’t fit well into data structures, objects and functions, and requires new syntax to work adequately.
I’m wondering out loud if distributed computing will end up in the same bucket. Programmers have difficulty in remembering that remote processes don’t act like local ones [pdf]; if we introduce something fundamentally different, maybe it should look different in the syntax.
def carVow := makeCar <- ("Mercedes") carVow <- moveTo(2,3)
I’m not sure if this is common knowledge or not; some people I’ve mentioned it to have said “oh, yeah, e is cool” in a matter-of-fact way; others get that blank look on their faces that’s more of a sign that the computing universe is still expanding, and everyone’s time is limited. Am I just way behind the times, or is this the future?