Harry R. Schwartz

Code writer, sometime Internet enthusiast, attractive nuisance.

The author at the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris, November 2022. hacker news gitlab sourcehut pinboard librarything 1B41 8F2C 23DE DD9C 807E A74F 841B 3DAE 25AE 721B


British Columbia



Growing a Language


Published .
Tags: computer-science, video.

Guy Steele is one of the big names in language design. He co-authored the Lambda Papers, wrote Common Lisp: The Language, and to a greater or lesser extent helped influence the development of Scheme, C, Fortran, Common Lisp, and Fortress.

He’s a pretty cool dude, is what I’m saying.

Anyhoo, Guy Steele also gave an extraordinary talk at OOPSLA 1998, entitled “Growing a Language.” The content of the talk (how to design an extensible language) is great, but the structure and delivery is even better. Just watch the first ten minutes or so, until he’s revealed what it is that he’s doing. I suspect you’ll want to watch the rest.

You can also read the full text of the talk as a PDF, but that spoils it a bit.

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