Jason (jcreed) wrote,
Jason
jcreed

Mike Gordon talking about the history of ML, and about the late Robin Milner's life.

I sort of like the funny infinite-canvas style of the talk.

"Underground café world of computer scientists in London [in the early 60s]... hung around and drank coffee and talked about semantics"

From LCFs to MLs...

Robin Milner, as a research assistant with no PhD writing to Dana Scott, asking him to look the other way while he (Milner) implements a system (Typed LCF) that Scott has decided is obsolete (having by now figured out a model D).

"Stanford LCF was programmed in LISP: Delightfully free of types"

ML abstract types were in part a solution to the problem of extremely limited memory on the machines of the day --- and type inference a way of getting back the nice absence of explicit type annotations in LISP.

---

"The Gentle Art of Levitation" was something with inductive types and codes that felt like not only lifting yourself by your bootstraps, but also tying knots in them.

"Every Bit Counts" was a functional pearl about automatically correct (de)serialization.
Tags: conferences, icfp
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