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Today, Greg challenged the entire consulting course to come up with a novel book idea that relates to teaching computer scientists something relevant. What would I like to see? A book that shows how to marry imperative and “alternative” programming languages, so that we can e.g. do our AI in prolog while still being able to write our game engine in an imperative language. Alternatively, how does a developer go about accessing a library from a language for which no binding (API) is available? The question has been answered for most imperative languages through some kind of “our datatypes” => C datatypes conversion and access of native libraries, but what about using, say, Cairo under Haskell (lazy evaluation, remember)?

The basic question is this: how do we convince someone to move to a new language if nothing they already use works there? The question is there because the “best” way to do these things would not be using Eiffel+OpenGL, but some sort of Eiffel Graphics implementation. Or possibly even leveraging the programming language itself to distribute over all available processing units (standard 3D acceleration would come from the language knowing the GPU is best at matrix operations, data-parallel, etc.).

I guess the point is we don’t live in a perfect world, so if we want to leverage any of the power of these alternatives we’re going to have to interface with the more popular languages. That’s where this book comes in.

Who’s writing this?

My name is Cameron Gorrie. I'm an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, with a strong interest in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Graphics. You can read more about me, or read my CV. If you have work or research opportunities in my interest areas, please do not hesitate to contact me.
April 2021
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