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RE: Occam-Tau anyone???

Hi David,


Sounds like that could be a great initiative! Would you consider overhauling the syntax of Occam to make it more appealing to current programmers? For instance, how about making a variant of Python with Occam constructs, since Python is a mainstream language which is syntactically similar to Occam, and which currently suffers from lack of support for parallel programming?  


A similar thing to this happened when Handel became Handel C.


I don’t think Python has any proper formal semantics so the new language would have to build on Occam for that purpose, and some of the python syntax might have to be dumped if it couldn’t be expressed in Occam. On the other hand it would be good if the huge body of contributed python code could be tapped into for users of the parallel version.


Best wishes,




From: Mailing List Robot [mailto:sympa@xxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of David May
Sent: 04 October 2012 23:51
To: Rick Beton
Cc: Occam Family
Subject: Re: Occam-Tau anyone???



Dear all, 


I would like to see an Occam-like language agreed, defined, 

implemented and promoted in an open process. 


I'm not interested in discussions about how to represent 

priority. There were several very good reasons why this was 

relegated to the 'configuration' section of the original language 

specification. In the meantime, nothing has changed. 


The occam-pi language is an over-extended version of occam 

with no formal specification. Some of the novel features have no 

efficient implementation in message-passing distributed memory



So my suggestion is that we start form occam2, and look at what

we need to add from occam3 and occam-pi. What is essential?


I've been working on language issues for quite a while now - 

mainly looking at how we can really get value out of thousands 

of processors. 


Not sure how best to do this but I'd like to see it happen. I'd be 

happy to host a meeting.


Best wishes










On 4 Oct 2012, at 20:38, Rick Beton wrote:

Hi all,


I started the original discussion following Peter's 'Occam Obviously' presentation, but sadly the language discussion petered out, lapsing into a fascinating but many-year-long rehearsed discussions on priority.


My original hope was to seek an answer to this question: if the answer is Occam (obviously or otherwise), what will it take to make Occam generally usable?  In its present form it is not so.


Then there's the question of aspiration versus practicalities.  The first suggestion I made was for packages to be added to Occam-pi and I put it first deliberately.  Not a new suggestion, this; in fact Occam3 had 'modules' way back in 19xx (choose your own xx).  I don't really care for the details of the implementation, I'm much more concerned that Occam-pi/-tau should belong to a busy community, inspired by (a) clarity of thinking and (b) a need to make things happen.


If this is wishful thinking, then alas Occam is not obviously going ever to be more than a teaching tool.


So, what next?







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