dict.org

The DICT Development Group


Search for:
Search type:
Database:

Database copyright information
Server information


1 definition found
 for My Favourite Toy Language
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)
  

Contact=webmaster@dict.org Specification=RFC 2229