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1 A LOGICIAN LOOKS AT PROGRAMMING by Harvey M. Friedman May 31, 2000 I would like to barge in, uninvited, with full naivete, to design a programming environment, aimed especially at the general mathematical community. Before continuing, let me apologize in advance to the distinguished software engineers who may have been curious enough to be here. I will look forward to your comments before I try to publish in this area. Or alternatively, you and your colleagues in software engineering may in fact stop me from publishing in this area! But I think that there are some merits in having someone in mathematical logic and the foundations of mathematics tackle crucial issues in software engineering from their own perspective, head on, with no fear, discarding all of the talk about their being no magic bullets, etcetera. I had some experience designing music performance software, and working with programmers. I was convinced that my specs had a rigor of their own, and certainly small changes could be made very easily in my specs. However, the implementation bills were not small. My specs just got translated into C and there was grossly inadequate communication. Nevertheless, the products got done and sold in small numbers. There were marketing problems, and so I proved that it is possible to lose serious money in high tech. I have been talking to the software engineering group at Ohio State University, led by Bruce Weide and Bill Ogden. They don’t think I am crazy, and in fact keep inviting me back to talk to them and their students. 1.
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