A programming language that is too simple
Only once in my life have I encountered a programming language that was too simple to use. That was Lispkit Lisp, developed by Peter Henderson, Geraint Jones, and Simon Jones, which I saw while serving as a postdoc at Oxford, 1983–87, and which despite its simplicity was used to implement an entire operating system. It is an indightment of the field of programming languages that I have not since encountered another system that I consider too simple. Until today. I can now add a second system to the list of those that are too simple, the appropriately-titled Simplicity, developed by Russell O’Connor of Blockstream. It is described by a paper here and a website here.
The core of Simplicity consists of just nine combinators: three for products (
drop), three for sums (
case), one for unit (
unit), and two for plumbing (
comp). It is throughly grounded in ideas from the functional programming, programming language, and formal methods communities.
When I call Simplicity... Read more »