On Sep 16, 2007, at 4:20 PM, Randall R Schulz wrote:
On Sunday 16 September 2007 16:00, Dennis Thomas wrote:
I brought the concepts of declarative and pre-computation up to help
distinguish our approach to others, but by no means believe that
those two attributes make our product unique by themselves.
Nonetheless, I don't think you're characterizing "declarative" properly.
Declarative means to state what to compute without regard to how that
computation gets carried out (think of SQL or Prolog). The usual
contrast is with imperative, where the how of the computation is what
is explicitly stated and what is computed is implicit (examples are
vastly more multitudinous and include C / C++, Java, Smalltalk,
FORTRAN, LISP, etc.). Any explicit but informal statement of what is
imperatively computed is traditionally included in an informal adjunct
text referred to as a "comment" or "documentation".
As an aside, there is the notion of Literate Programming which aims to
raise the documentation aspect of an imperative program to the same
status as the code itself as well as to integrate the two together in a
single program text that is separated by a tool into the documentation
and executable portions and to subsequently compile the code and render
the documentation using, say, TeX.
I appreciate the feedback.