Recently i bought a second-hand copy of Simon Peyton Jones’ classic The implementation of functional programming languages, and i’ve been having some very pleasant reading hours during the last week.
For instance, i’ve enjoyed Simon’s clear and to-the-point introduction to the lambda calculus and, more concretely, his really lucid explanation of the workings of recursion and the Y combinator. As a matter of fact, i’ve enjoyed it so much that i just wanted to briefly reproduce it here, paraphrased in my surely poorer style, just for the fun of it.
For many years, i’ve been convinced that programming needs to move forward and abandon the Algol family of languages that, still today, dampens the field. And that that forward direction has been signalled for decades by (mostly) functional, possibly dynamic languages with an immersive environment. But it wasn’t until recently that i was able to finally put my money where my mouth has been all these years.
I’m pretty sure one of the main reasons programmers write blogs is using them as yet another excuse to tinker with their favourite languages and tools: i know one of them quite well.