I am quite excited about having a chance to teach the module called
Programming Language Design and Semantics next year.
My colleague David and I initially proposed way back when to expose
students to, not only concepts in semantics of languages, but also to
discuss and understand features of actual programming languages. We were
very inspired by Sethi’s and Sebesta’s textbooks. And students were
inspired too; we had great presentations from students, who had a chance
to present their thoughts on languages, backed up by academic papers.
Alas, since we initially taught the module, it has passed to other
hands, and now the module is purely about semantics, though it retains
the same title. For a couple years some students and I subversely
attended an extra-curricular “Language Club”, and it was great to see
the interest that students took in learning about the landscape of
languages. I have to decide if it is worth battling the system and
change the learning outcomes and module plan to re-incorporate the
Talking of languages, I am very curious to see that the TIOBE Index
places C as the “no. 1” language, ahead of Java. They cite the decline
in interest in Java.