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2 definitions found
 for MFTL
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  MFTL
   /M?F?T?L/
  
      [abbreviation: ?My Favorite Toy Language?]
  
      1. adj. Describes a talk on a programming language design that is heavy on
      the syntax (with lots of BNF), sometimes even talks about semantics (e.g.,
      type systems), but rarely, if ever, has any content (see content-free).
      More broadly applied to talks ? even when the topic is not a programming
      language ? in which the subject matter is gone into in unnecessary and
      meticulous detail at the sacrifice of any conceptual content. ?Well, it was
      a typical MFTL talk?.
  
      2. n. Describes a language about which the developers are passionate (often
      to the point of proselytic zeal) but no one else cares about. Applied to
      the language by those outside the originating group. ?He cornered me about
      type resolution in his MFTL.?
  
      The first great goal in the mind of the designer of an MFTL is usually to
      write a compiler for it, then bootstrap the design away from contamination
      by lesser languages by writing a compiler for it in itself. Thus, the
      standard put-down question at an MFTL talk is ?Has it been used for
      anything besides its own compiler?? On the other hand, a (compiled)
      language that cannot even be used to write its own compiler is beneath
      contempt. (The qualification has become necessary because of the increasing
      popularity of interpreted languages like Perl and Python.) See {
      break-even point. (On a related note, Doug McIlroy once proposed a test of
      the generality and utility of a language and the operating system under
      which it is compiled: ?Is the output of a FORTRAN program acceptable as
      input to the FORTRAN compiler?? In other words, can you write programs that
      write programs? (See toolsmith.) Alarming numbers of (language, OS) pairs
      fail this test, particularly when the language is FORTRAN; aficionados are
      quick to point out that Unix (even using FORTRAN) passes it handily. That
      the test could ever be failed is only surprising to those who have had the
      good fortune to have worked only under modern systems which lack
      OS-supported and -imposed ?file types?.)
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  My Favourite Toy Language
  MFTL
  
      (MFTL) Describes a talk on a programming
     language design that is heavy on syntax (with lots of
     BNF), sometimes even talks about semantics (e.g. type
     systems), but rarely, if ever, has any content (see
     content-free).  More broadly applied to talks - even when
     the topic is not a programming language --- in which the
     subject matter is gone into in unnecessary and meticulous
     detail at the sacrifice of any conceptual content.  "Well, it
     was a typical MFTL talk".
  
     2. A language about which the developers are passionate (often
     to the point of prosyletic zeal) but no one else cares about.
     Applied to the language by those outside the originating
     group.  "He cornered me about type resolution in his MFTL."
  
     The first great goal in the mind of the designer of an MFTL is
     usually to write a compiler for it, then bootstrap the design
     away from contamination by lesser languages by writing a
     compiler for it in itself.  Thus, the standard put-down
     question at an MFTL talk is "Has it been used for anything
     besides its own compiler?".  On the other hand, a language
     that *cannot* be used to write its own compiler is beneath
     contempt.
  
     Doug McIlroy once proposed a test of the generality and
     utility of a language and the operating system under which
     it is compiled: "Is the output of a Fortran program
     acceptable as input to the Fortran compiler?"  In other words,
     can you write programs that write programs?  Alarming numbers
     of (language, OS) pairs fail this test, particularly when the
     language is Fortran.  Aficionados are quick to point out that
     Unix (even using Fortran) passes it handily.  That the test
     could ever be failed is only surprising to those who have had
     the good fortune to have worked only under modern systems
     which lack OS-supported and -imposed "file types".
  
     See break-even point, toolsmith.
  
     (1995-03-07)
  

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