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The Structure of a Programming Language Revolution [pdf] (dreamsongs.com)
7 points by Jach on May 24, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 2 comments


TL;DR: We can thing of programming languages as "languages" or as "systems". A "system" is a mechanism for making things happen; a "language" is a formal grammar with defined meaning. Around 1990, we shifted from an even mix of thinking of "systems" and "languages", to an environment where "language" dominated the thinking.

My take: This fits into something that I've been thinking recently, that there is a split between computer science and software engineering. Computer scientists think about the formal properties of languages; software engineers use languages to try to do something else. I think that those two ways of viewing programming languages are becoming increasingly irrelevant to each other.

I agree with your TL;DR

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