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PL Perspectives

Perspectives on computing and technology from and for those with an interest in programming languages.
A DSL for Implementing Math Functions

A DSL for Implementing Math Functions

Numerical code needs to carefully balance accuracy and performance. A new DSL, MegaLibm, makes this easier by checking for numerical correctness and offering flexible compilation to efficient code. By reconceptualizing classic numerical techniques like polynomial approximation and range reduction as type-theoric operations like casts and binding operators, MegaLibm makes numerical code composable, and its ability to plug in mathematical an numerical tools (like Sollya) makes it easier and safer to write such code.

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AI Software Should be More Like Plain Old Software

AI Software Should be More Like Plain Old Software

A Tale of Two Softwares: In a world where AI is revolutionizing the way we interact with technology, a new type of software emerges: AI Software (AISW). But with great power comes great responsibility, and the systems research community must rise to the challenge of ensuring AISW is as robust, secure, and safe as its predecessor, Plain Old Software (POSW).

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Teaching Category Theory to Computer Scientists

Teaching Category Theory to Computer Scientists

Category theory has long served as a deep mathematical theory for investigations in programming languages and semantics. Recent years have seen renewed interest in applying category theory to programming languages. This past fall, I redesigned a graduate class called “Category Theory for Computer Scientists”. Though I admittedly do not consider myself to be an expert in category theory, I think the design of this kind of class is underexplored and there is room for experimentation. Here, I’d like to describe my experience teaching category theory to computer scientists and what I learned.

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From Research Prototypes to Continuous Integration: Guiding the Design and Implementation of JavaScript

From Research Prototypes to Continuous Integration: Guiding the Design and Implementation of JavaScript

The open-source development of the JavaScript programming language is now automatically checked. The language specification written in English is type checked, and the tests are checked for conformance to the specification. This blog post presents how research papers became continuously integrated into the development of a real-world programming language.

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Hybrid SPLASH 2021 Retrospective

Hybrid SPLASH 2021 Retrospective

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many conferences were held online starting in late March 2020, and several of us helped with the fully virtual offering of SPLASH 2020. By mid-2021, however, vaccination was widespread and effective at preventing COVID infection and severe disease, and it became feasible to consider in-person attendance at conferences. Polls of authors and the larger community indicated strong interest in holding an in-person version of SPLASH. Still, as of October 2021 the US had not relaxed its travel restrictions on people from large parts of the world, and even beyond that some people would not be able to travel to SPLASH. We therefore decided to offer SPLASH as a Hybrid conference in October 2021, offering both in-person and virtual attendance options. We were also excited about piloting a hybrid conference, because there are many longer-term benefits if we can run them well, including supporting both in-person networking and accessibility for attendees who can only attend remotely. We knew doing so would be hard, but we also hoped to learn valuable lessons. SPLASH 2021 turned out to be an interesting case study as the first major post-COVID PL conference to go hybrid, and one of the earliest across the ACM as well.

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PLDI will join PACMPL

PLDI will join PACMPL

Starting with PLDI 2023, the proceedings of PLDI will be published in the PACMPL journal. Read about the community survey that informed the PLDI Steering Committee before they voted for this change.

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People of PL: Special Mentoring Edition

People of PL: Special Mentoring Edition

SIGPLAN-M is SIGPLAN’s international long-term mentoring program. Initiated in late 2020 by Talia Ringer, it now has over 200 mentors and over 300 mentees. Everybody in the community — from aspiring undergraduate to experienced faculty — is welcome to take part either as a mentor or as a mentee (or both). For this edition of People of PL, John Wickerson met three of SIGPLAN-M’s mentors to find out about their experiences.

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Survey: Should PLDI join PACM-PL?

Survey: Should PLDI join PACM-PL?

Should the ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI) publish its proceedings in the Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages (PACM-PL) journal? Please fill out this short survey to help us decide.

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