Tuesday, 15 January 2008


After POPL I also attended FOOL - which is a workshop I really enjoy. Excellent people come and there is always a friendly atmosphere. As there are no proceedings, people present quite preliminary ideas. You often see them appear at the next POPL/ECOOP/OOPSLA - so the quality is high.

After the night before (see previous posting) I was in need of a big breakfast. Luckily the paracetamol kicked in quickly enough that I was in shape for the first invited lecture by Jeremy Siek. He spoke about gradual typing. I had browsed this stuff before and hadn't paid it much attention. Jeremy gave a great talk - I now understand what this stuff is trying to do. It's actually quite nice. He spoke at FOOL about combining it with type inference a la Hindley-Milner. He has some nice results, although I couldn't see how it would work with subtyping though.

The other invited talk was by Gilad Bracha, who's at Cadence (no longer Mr Java!). This was a typical Gilad talk: full of neat ideas, inside jokes and self-deprecation. He spoke about Newspeak, which is a Smalltalk/Self-like language they are developing at Cadence. He demonstrated the language by considering parser combinations. They come out very nicely in Newspeak. He also demo-ed the language environment on his Mac.

Unfortunately I had to leave FOOL early to catch my flight back to London. All in: this was a great trip. The POPL programme was excellent I thought, and it was organized very well. The only grumble was the internet connectivity but this is a common problem at (non-networking) conferences. It seems to be a problem that requires a large sum of money to solve :-(

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