Obituary for John Warner Backus

John W. Backus, father of FORTRAN, the first high-level programming language as well as co-creator of the BNF notation for grammar died on Saturday 2007-03-17 at the age of 82.

Rest in peace and thanks for all the fish.

NY Times has a good article honoring him, that gives you the best overview. Also see Wikipedia and Heise on his 80th birthday.
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Contract-based programming

Today I came across Larry Osterman's blog, who has an interesting series on this topic.

This is one direction where programming languages should make a step forward, adding better support for that paradigm, especially moving implicit contract properties and runtime checks like valid-value-ranges, into the language syntax. A recent example of that are Java Enumerators, which can be used to force the programmer to use one out of the valid given 'constant' objects, but restrict creation of new ones, thus enabling the programmer to narrow down the parameters to a given method to those that the method is really supposed to work on.
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Sometimes you ask yourself if you have chosen the right way in life to go, the right direction to take..

Happened to me again, when I saw this picture, reminds me that theres more in life than zero and one:

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