By admin | October 1, 2008
Keynotes are usually about somewhat tangible things – new programming languages, tools, process practices, and so on. Not quite so with today’s keynote by Guy Steele and Richard Gabriel.
I went to Gabriels talk on Tuesday, and that was pretty different, too, so it’s no big surprise that the keynote continued in the somewhat stylistic form with prerecorded speech and music. And a feeling of having seen something important and relevant without exactly being able to pin it down.
The keynote was basically a run-through of different languages, mostly the old ones – COBOL, Lisp, Algol 60. According to the introduction, 50 languages should have been mentioned. I didn’t keep count, but it seems likely. This was the introduction:
“Fifty in fifty”. Simply a quirk?
Fifty topics or languages?
Fifty years of language work
In fifty minutes? Clever guess,
Yet subtler considerations lurk.
To clarify one reason why:
Adter we’ve finished this evening’s speech,
Dirk will have made – and so will I -
Fifty remarks of exactly fifty words each.
Although they couldn’t keep the 50 minutes, the rest of the keynote was excellently performed – not an easy feat when the form is like that. Judging by the ovation afterwards, most of the audience was captured by the talk, too.2008 JAOO | Tags: guy steele, richard gabriel, wednesday.today.jaoo.dk.featured, wednesday.today.jaoo.dk.sessions | 10 Comments »