Re: PhD or books on history of individual languages

Kaz Kylheku <157-073-9834@kylheku.com>
Sun, 2 Dec 2018 12:39:29 -0500 (EST)

          From comp.compilers

Related articles
[2 earlier articles]
Re: PhD or books on history of individual languages derek@_NOSPAM_knosof.co.uk (Derek M. Jones) (2018-11-23)
Re: PhD or books on history of individual languages lkrupp@pssw.com (Louis Krupp) (2018-11-23)
Re: PhD or books on history of individual languages ibeam2000@gmail.com (Nick) (2018-11-23)
Re: PhD or books on history of individual languages sgk@troutmask.apl.washington.edu (steve kargl) (2018-11-24)
Re: PhD or books on history of individual languages derek@_NOSPAM_knosof.co.uk (Derek M. Jones) (2018-11-24)
Re: PhD or books on history of individual languages derek@_NOSPAM_knosof.co.uk (Derek M. Jones) (2018-11-25)
Re: PhD or books on history of individual languages 157-073-9834@kylheku.com (Kaz Kylheku) (2018-12-02)
Re: PhD or books on history of individual languages pronesto@gmail.com (Fernando) (2018-12-02)
Re: PhD or books on history of individual languages derek@_NOSPAM_knosof.co.uk (Derek M. Jones) (2018-12-03)
Re: PhD or books on history of individual languages robin51@dodo.com.au (Robin Vowels) (2018-12-08)
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From: Kaz Kylheku <157-073-9834@kylheku.com>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2018 12:39:29 -0500 (EST)
Organization: Aioe.org NNTP Server
References: 18-11-009 18-11-010 18-11-011 18-11-012 18-11-015
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Keywords: history, comment
Posted-Date: 02 Dec 2018 12:39:29 EST
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On 2018-11-24, Derek M. Jones <derek@_NOSPAM_knosof.co.uk> wrote:
> Louis,
>
>> You might be the person to read some of those papers and write one of
>> those books. You'll have a perspective that the language designers
>> themselves might not have had.
>
> I have enough enthusiasm to read them, not write them.
>
> Historians of computing tend to be primarily hardware based
> https://shape-of-code.coding-guidelines.com/2018/03/13/historians-of-computing/
>
> Social scientists and English majors are missing out on
> writing about an unexplored area of knowledge.


Which brings up the point that digging through historic programming
languages is not really Ph. D. level work in the field of Computer Science.


A Ph. D. thesis is supposed to be a body of research which broadens
human understanding in the subject domain. Programming languages are
man-made stuff. They were understood quite well by their makers and
users. Someone trying to dig up info about some old language nobody uses
will end up with even less insight into it than the people who worked
with it and on it.


A survey of what cranes have been built by what machine companies, and
how they worked, wouldn't be Ph. D. work in civil engineering, would it?


[It's a fine topic for history of science, where there are plenty of
people working on computer history. Look at the IEEE Annals of the
History of Computing. -John]


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