April’s Refresh: The Age of Social Machines

by Kevin Lawver on April 8, 2013

We’ve got something a little different this month! Mark Stahl, local developer and all-around genius, is going to talk about something not many people tackle – creating a new programming language! I know! Here’s Mark’s description:

The world of programming languages has not changed much in the last thirty years. The ideas that we hold dear today, in many cases, were held just as dear by our industry forefathers. This poses a problem to our world of technology. As our ideas and desires get bigger and bolder, the languages used to express those ideas remains stagnant. We need new languages, with new abstractions, that take advantage of the wonderfully technological world we currently live in and that our children will create.

Discourse is an exercise in creating a language to express these bold, new ideas. Discourse is inspired by the syntax of Smalltalk and Ruby, with the semantics of Carl Hewitt’s Actor Model. At its core, Discourse is an ideology with three tenets: the Earth we live on is the perfect role-model for any system we desire to create, therefore Discourse shall be concurrency all the way down, our world is a place of social connections, therefore the semantics of Discourse shall depend on the Internet as opposed to punishing it to libraries, and the privacy of all Actors within a system is paramount, therefore all communications in Discourse shall be encrypted.

I hope to see all of you there and full of crazy questions for Mark! If you’d like to be adventurous and provide food and/or beverages for this month’s meeting, please let me know!

And the details:

  • When: Tuesday 4/16 @ 6PM
  • Where: ThincSavannah – 35 Barnard St, 3rd Floor
  • What & Who: The Age of Social Machines by Mark Stahl

I’m really looking forward to this one, so I hope you can all come out! Also, we don’t have a speaker for June yet. If you’ve got something you’re passionate about and can’t wait to tell everyone, please let me know!

Update: Thanks to TalentSoup for providing beverages for this month’s meeting!