4000 Middlefield Road, Room H-1
Palo Alto, California 94105


In the late 1920's linguists Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf hypothesized that the thoughts we can think are largely determined by the language we speak. In his essay "Beating the Averages" Paul Graham echoed this notion and invented a hypothetical language, Blub, to explain why it is so hard for programmers to appreciate programming language features that aren't present in their own favorite language.

Does the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis hold for computer languages? Can you be a great software architect if you only speak Blub? Doesn't Turing equivalence imply that language choice is just another implementation detail? Yes, no, and no says Peter Seibel, language lawyer (admitted, at various times, to the Perl, Java, and Common Lisp bars) and author of the award-winning book _Practical Common Lisp_.

In his talk, Peter will discuss how our choices of programming language influences and shapes our pattern languages and the architectures we can, or are likely to, invent. He will also discuss whether it's sufficient to merely broaden your horizons by learning different programming languages or whether you must actually use them.

Peter Seibel is either a writer turned programmer or programmer turned writer. After picking up an undergraduate degree in English and working briefly as a journalist, he was seduced by the web. In the early '90s he hacked Perl for Mother Jones Magazine and Organic Online. He participated in the Java revolution as an early employee at WebLogic where he helped implement various parts of what became Weblogic's J2EE offering, including JNDI, Servlets, and EJB, eventually managing the EJB team. He also taught Java programming at UC Berkeley Extension. At both Organic and Weblogic he was the resident language lawyer and has since been an avid comparative computer linguist.

Free for SDForum Members, $15.00 for non-members.

Website: http://www.sdforum.org/SDForum/Templates/CalendarEvent.aspx?CID=1772&mo=4&yr=2006
Email: registrations@sdforum.org
Phone: 408-414-5950

Added by FullCalendar on April 4, 2006