John W. Sarkela
sarkela at sbcglobal.net
Mon Feb 24 13:12:52 UTC 2003
I first encountered the term meta-programming in a paper by John Lilly
entitled, "Programming and meta-programming the human biocomputer."
That was a paper about the self taking control of the means of
interpretation of reality.
The prefix meta- when applied to a field of study usually refers to
a new but related discipline designed to deal critically with the
Thus in the Smalltalk image we find Class and Metaclass.
A class is responsible for describing the structure and
behavior of related instances. A metaclass is responsible
for describing the structure and behavior of a class.
So from this we might infer that metaprogramming is in some
sense a transcendent activitiy. It is the programming of the
means of programming. Look through past OOPSLA proceedings.
I recall an excellent paper by Gregor Kiczales et. al. on the topic.
On Monday, February 24, 2003, at 04:38 AM, Marco Paga wrote:
> Hi everybody.
> I've got just one question. What does the word meta-programming mean.
> I read the croquet manual to which is an article of Alan Kay added (
> Title: "Is "Software Engineering" an Oxymoron?").
> He writes : " [...] we need a system whose features are "mostly meta".
> [...] Part of the real problem of today's software is that most
> programmers have learned to program only a little, at the surface
> level, and usually in an early bound system. [...]".
> I roamed around the web but the question still remains in my head:
> "What is it"?
> Thank you
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