Dijkstra during the 1960s. The following post refers to my journal article about the Dijkstra of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Subsequent posts on this page either discuss this article or address EWDs that Dijkstra wrote during the 1960s.
In his technical report (MR 34) of October 1961, Dijkstra explained why he viewed a good programming language to be one of a small number of very general concepts. To clarify, he used an analogy between mathematics and programming, an analogy which in later years would be scrutinized in several ways by his contemporaries. (See e.g. MacKenzie's 2004 book Mechanizing Proof: Computing, Risk, and Trust.)
The Dijkstra family collected many things, including an advertisement in NATURE on 4 February 1961, which mentioned the ALGOL 60 Programming School to be held at Brighton Technical College on 5 and 6 April 1961.
Is it correct to say that Dijkstra reasoned linguistically during the late 1950s and early 1960s? A reviewer of the research paper `Dijkstra's Rallying Cry ...' expressed his reservations about this matter.
The paper is, in essence, about an argument of generality versus computer efficiency. The argument was eventually settled in favour of the former due to the enormous advances in electronic technology. Today, computer efficiency is not an issue any more.
Is this correct? The last sentence seems to contradict Martin Reiser’s “law” which states that