Reimagining literate programming

James Dean Palmer, Eddie Hillenbrand
2009 Proceeding of the 24th ACM SIGPLAN conference companion on Object oriented programming systems languages and applications - OOPSLA '09  
In this paper we describe Ginger, a new language with first class support for literate programming. Literate programming is a philosophy that argues computer programs should be written as literature with human readability and understanding of paramount importance. While the intent of literate programming is to make understanding computer programs simpler, most literate programming systems are quite complex and consist of three different languages corresponding to 1) an implementation language,
more » ... ) a documentation language, and 3) a literate programming glue language. In Knuth's original implementation these were Pascal, T E X, and WEB respectively. Antithetical to the goals that literate programming espouses, this three language paradigm creates a truly challenging environment for new programmers. In this paper we reimagine literate programming as a core programming language feature and describe a novel system for literate programming based on G-expression transformations. We show that Ginger code can be used to naturally represent code, prose, and literate connections, which in turn unifies, simplifies and significantly extends the literate programming experience.
doi:10.1145/1639950.1640072 dblp:conf/oopsla/PalmerH09 fatcat:46m6vjpwzvdf7b422ztvmpgxwa