Nicodemus (nicodemusrat) wrote,

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Programming Quote

Today's quote for programmatic meditation:

"Metalinguistic abstraction -- establishing new languages -- [...] is particularly important to computer programming, because in programming not only can we formulate new languages but we can also implement these languages by constructing evaluators. An evaluator (or interpreter) for a programming language is a procedure that, when applied to an expression of the language, performs the actions required to evaluate that expression.

The evaluator, which determines the meaning of expressions in a programming language, is just another program. To appreciate this point is to change our images of ourselves as programmers. We come to see ourselves as designers of languages, rather than only users of languages designed by others."

-- Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs by Abelson, Sussman, and Sussman [aka the wizard book]
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