Cover: Why Is It Difficult to Program in von Neumann Languages?

Why Is It Difficult to Program in von Neumann Languages?

Published 1987

by Sanjai Narain

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This Note examines the assertion that programs in von Neumann languages are difficult to synthesize and develops a new supporting argument. Frequently it is necessary to express in a programming language statements of the form "each of functions f1, ..., fn are to be computed for the same entity." Since von Neumann languages contain the destructive assignment operation, it is very difficult to express such statements in them. Applicative languages such as pure Lisp or Prolog do not contain destructive assignment, so such statements can be expressed easily in them. The Note should be useful to those interested in programming languages.

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