podcast July 10, 2020

Podcast 251: how to interpret the compiler

To think like a machine, you have to speak its language.
Avatar for Ben Popper
Director of Content

This week we walk through the finer points of interpreters, compilers, just-in-time compilation, and how all this relates to our ability to communicate with extraterrestrials.

Episode Notes

This is a great crash course on just-in-time compilers written by Lin Clark, who works in advanced development at Mozilla on Rust and Web Assembly. It references the film Arrival and kicked off our discussion on the podcast. 

Paul talks about his first love, XSLT, and how that language actually foreshadowed a lot of what would become popular staples of modern programming languages. 

Sara and Paul share their thoughts on what it takes to craft a new language as a programmer and why they have never embarked on this arduous intellectual adventure. 

This brought to mind a well written essay from one of the creators of Redis, who is stepping back from managing the project to work on something new. Here is, in my opinion, a profound quote from that piece: 

“I write code in order to express myself, and I consider what I code an artifact, rather than just something useful to get things done. I would say that what I write is useful just as a side effect, but my first goal is to make something that is, in some way, beautiful. In essence, I would rather be remembered as a bad artist than a good programmer.”

Our lifeboat badge of the week goes to Farhan Amjad, who answered the question – How can I implement PageView in SwiftUI?

If you would like a written transcript of this episode, it can be found here.

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