Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hardcore SE Papers

Software Libraries and Their Reuse: Entropy, Kolmogorov Complexity and Zipf's Law
http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~gvwilson/reading/veldhuizen-libraries-reuse.pdf

This paper presents an interesting argument, stating that the entropy of a given problem domain can be measured, and in so doing we can predict the amount of library reuse that is appropriate, or indeed possible, for programs in that domain. Also, a handy proof states that the only complete library for a given domain is of infinite size, effectively securing jobs for library writers in the future.


Unfolding Abstract Datatypes
http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~gvwilson/reading/gibbons-unfolding-adt.pdf

This paper should have been called "Unfolding Abstract Datatypes in Functional Programming", so that I had a valid warning before I started reading it, and by reading I mean staring at the pages looking for something I understood. Here's what I got out of it: in functional languages, ADTs are possible, but less commonly implemented than in OOP languages. The primary reason for this is because most user-defined types expose their data structures so that you can do pattern matching on them. The paper argues that this is bad, and proper information hiding can be obtained without breaking matching ability. Also, ADTs represent codata (whatever that is).

1 comment:

Ernie said...

"by reading I mean staring at the pages looking for something I understood"

awesome. I get this feeling daily in grad school.