[Pharo-dev] [Inspiration] Toward a better programming

Clément Bera bera.clement at gmail.com
Mon Apr 7 00:58:29 EDT 2014


Currently on the VM one of the next step is to speed up numerical
computation, it should happen in around a year. Right now it would not
worth it because even in arithmetic intensive benchs (I'm talking abut
floating pointer benchs) the VM spends most of its time in the GC or
iterating over collections, but once both of these 2 performance
bottlenecks will be fixed (the new GC is about to be integrated, but the VM
still needs to be ported to 64 bits to have more efficient floating
pointers and collection speed-ups will be ready in 11 months), the next
step is to speed up arithmetics, especially floating-pointers arithmetics.

Distributed / Cloud processing is kind of a work in progress too. For that
we need the threaded FFI working with the new GC to have #forkAndExec which
spawn an image and fork the process in it efficiently. It's a 3-months
project for a competent guy but no one is planning to do that on the short
term AFAIK (there are other things to do first with the current resources).
In addition for this problem we need things as a well identified kernel to
spawn another image quickly (but thanks to Pavel we kind of have it).
I guess in a few year we will have a framework to spawn new images and
having them communicating through sockets efficiently. The communication
layer would be inspired from Metatalk. A prototype was done with Metatalk
(named ImageWorker) but the VM does not have support for #forkAndExec so
this part was done with OSProcess, unfortunately making it a toy instead of
a real framework...

About Flexible Presentation, Spec is on the way as it has a morphic back
end and a native UI back end. I guess at some point it will have a web back
end too (maybe with amber ?). We "just" need to find someone willing to do

So I think we kind of are doing what you expect.

2014-04-06 19:01 GMT-07:00 S Krish <krishnamachari.sudhakar at gmail.com>:

> "...Coherent and robust philosophy..."
> We got to be aware of the fact that Wolfram is recognized as a renegade
> scientist with a great work in Mathematica but the work on cellular
> automata and his theory on New kind of Science is controversial to put it
> lightly.
> What appeals to me as ideas / concepts that will make a great impact in
> Pharo if we can bring it in, without crossing swords on IP / patents..!!..
> Kind of pick on priori art on all of them.
> http://www.wolfram.com/language/principles/
> *For Pharo:*
> The great work done in Pharo so far and with core roadmap ahead.. this
> will probably be add on to the core / or as an extension:
> *  *Cloud/ distributed processing*: A semi connected distributed language
> / programming environment that is knowledge aware of each node, scalably
> working with one or more nodes available at any given time. Backend data
> awareness linked to any type of data storage: RDBMS, NoSQL, flat files..
> *  *Power of algorithmic computation:* The framework for distributed AI
> algorithm that works with available knowledge base in time defined manner (
> synchronous or asynch ) of the defined "execution". The power user can then
> plugin additional algorithms, modify and create a web as reqd
> *  *Symbolic Expressions*: Syntactically cryptic but like a DSL it makes
> sense to have power user the brevity in his daily grind, though it can be
> left to the power user group to evolve the same given a foundation of a
> framework that makes it quick work to get it stitched together.
> * * Flexible Presentation*: DSL or the scripting driven quick
> presentation capability that can be any from a html / morphic / image /
> video / textual presentation. Kind of moldable, flexible to the core with
> defaults that feel almost intuitive to the processing
> *  *NLP*: Natural language processing that is incremental, perhaps
> smalltalk already has been there in a small measure and static for a very
> long time, need to make it really NLP..  http://emerge.mc.vanderbilt.edu/natural-language-processing-nlp-survey-tools-resources
> <http://www.nltk.org/>
> *  *Numerical computation*: Fast, highly efficient perhaps Native Boost
> enabled all kinds of maths: calculus, statistical computation, image
> processing et als.
> All the above are greatly relevant in the enterprise world development and
> will be a great fit to Pharo's capability with the GTInspector,
> Rossal+Athens presentation along with Morphic, meta programming, debugger
> that is live and can be interconnected with fuel, syntatically as close to
> NLP to any mainstream language can be ...
> *-Skrish*
> On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 11:42 AM, Tudor Girba <tudor at tudorgirba.com> wrote:
>> Indeed, I read this article several times over the last couple of days.
>> This work is impressive particularly when combined with the cloud part.
>> The language itself is less interesting for me, but what makes it stand
>> out is that it has a coherent and robust philosophy behind and phenomenal
>> goals to reach. In Pharo, we have the luxury of building on top of coherent
>> and robust philosophy (even if different from the Wolfram one) and we
>> should try as much as possible to keep our eyes on phenomenal goals that
>> seem unreachable.
>> Another thing I like in Wolfram's work is attention to details:
>> http://blog.wolfram.com/2008/01/10/ten-thousand-hours-of-design-reviews/
>> Details are crucial, and all the effort in Pharo around naming and
>> redesigning what already exists is incredibly important. But, it is
>> precisely at the moment when we are knee-deep in details that is crucial to
>> keep our eyes on the phenomenal long term goals.
>> There is so much to build. Let's be bold.
>> Doru
>> On Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 7:22 PM, Sven Van Caekenberghe <sven at stfx.eu>wrote:
>>> On 31 Mar 2014, at 06:21, S Krish <krishnamachari.sudhakar at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> > How about impact of this:
>>> >
>>> >
>>> http://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2014/03/injecting-computation-everywhere-a-sxsw-update/
>>> >
>>> > I would agree it is quite complex for any beginner, but utility of a
>>> programming language on these lines seems cut out for the future..
>>> Wow, this is really powerful stuff, a long read, but well worth it. By
>>> recombining and reusing all their technology they seem to be able to move
>>> into more and more territory.
>>> It is closed source and (very) expensive, and I don't like the syntax,
>>> but we sure can get good ideas from them.
>>> Thanks for sharing the link.
>>> Sven
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