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Understanding Programming Languages
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  • Title Understanding Programming Languages
  • Author(s) Monti Ben-Ari
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (March 12, 1996)
  • Paperback 376 pages
  • eBook Online, zipped PDF file, 0.8 MB
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471958468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471958468
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Book Description

To say that a good programmer can write good software in any language is like saying that a good pilot can fly any aircraft: true, but irrelevant. The choice of a programming language is one of the most important factors that influence the ultimate quality of a software system. Unfortunately, too many programmers have poor linguistic skills: they are passionately in love with their "native" language, but are not able to analyze language constructs. Understanding Programming Languages explains:

  • what alternatives are available to the language designer
  • how language constructs should be used for safety and readability
  • how language constructs are implemented
  • the role of language in expressing and enforcing abstractions.
This book compares constructs from C with constructs from Ada in terms of levels of abstractions. Studying these languages provides a firm foundation for an extensive examination of object-oriented language support in C++ and Ada 95. It explains what alternatives are available to the language designer, how language constructs should be used in terms of safety and readability, how language constructs are implemented and which ones can be efficiently compiled and the role of language in expressing and enforcing abstractions. The final chapters introduce functional (ML) and logic (Prolog) programming languages to demonstrate that imperative languages are not conceptual necessities for programming.

About the Authors
  • Robert Harper is a professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

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