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Sorting and groups


I can't find much reference to this in the literature (see Maus for some hints and an interesting paper) , but surely people have looked at sorting as a problem in group theory? Given a sequence $latex s=[x_1\dots x_n] $ say a permutation $latex \pi$ sorts $latex  s$ if and…

Current reading: July 8 2017


Principal type-schemes for functional programs∗ Luis Damas† and Robin Milner First published in POPL ’82: Proceedings of the 9th ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT symposium on Principles of programming languages, ACM, pp. 207–212 THE PRINCIPAL TYPE-SCHEME OF AN OBJECT IN COMBINATORY LOGIC BY R. HINDLEY Quicksort.  Tiny C - sheer genius! Plan B …

The C standard committee effort to kill C continues


Consider the following code: void f(void) { unsigned char x[1]; /* intentionally uninitialized */ x[0] ^= x[0]; printf("%d\n", x[0]); printf("%d\n", x[0]); return; } In this example, the unsigned char array x is intentionally uninitialized but cannot contain a trap representation because it has a character type. Consequently, the value is both indeterminate and an…

Types considered harmful


Russell introduced what is often viewed as his most original contribution to mathematical logic: his theory of types—which in essence tries to distinguish between sets, sets of sets, etc. by considering them to be of different “types”, and then restricts how they can be combined. I must say that I…

Basic math for basic algorithms


It's odd that all the descriptions of basic programming operations, such as sorting, rely on pseudo code or complex formal logic. All we are doing is modifying finite sequences so it seems like we should be able to use ordinary algebra. I'm going to start by defi ning basic operations on…

Current reading


Wadler's influential "monads" paper for Haskell. It seems like a classic case of making something simple sound profound and mysterious.  And companion paper by Hughes on "why functional programming matters" . See also some comments above. McCarthy's original LISP paper.  Just terrible. He made a serious error picking Lambda calculus as…