US Declaration of Independence (Free Speech Protest)

Facebook has deemed the US declaration of independence “hate speech”.  Global Script takes no position on the rights or wrongs of US independence, or of the specific claims made in the declaration; but we are unalterably opposed to censorship in all forms. Free speech is a fundamental value of the Internet, and is necessary to all software development whatsoever. The only possible response to censorship of any kind, especially on the Internet, is to spread the censored material as far and wide as possible. Therefore, we will be posting a representative selection of US founding documents on this site, in protest of Facebook’s decision.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  • He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  • He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
  • He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
  • He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
  • He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  • He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  • He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
  • He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
  • He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  • He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    • For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    • For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
    • For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    • For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
    • For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
    • For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
    • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    • For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  • He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
  • He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
  • He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
  • He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
  • He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

 

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

What is a Program Calculus?

‘Program Calculus’ is Global Script’s term for what everyone else calls a ‘programming language’, but why have a special term?  Why not just call it a programming language like everyone else?

‘Programming’ is an activity, and ‘program‘ is a transitive verb; programming is something you do to a machine (or computer or another program or whatever).  It’s the act of giving it instructions to be carried out automatically at a later time.  (The activity of programming is actually over 200 years old, going back to the Jacquard Loom.  Fortunately, we’ve moved past punch cards (relatively) recently!)  Because when you program you are always programming something, programming is inherently machine-dependent.  So Global Script reserves the term ‘programming language’ for machine- or environment-dependent languages: IBIO for programs that work in an environment of Unix text files, CORD for programs that work in an environment of relational databases, Dance for programs that work in a mouse/keyboard/display GUI (MKDG?) environment, gsset for programs that work in a text/graphics printing environment, gstype for programs that work in a console / typewriter printing environment (such as a Unix terminal emulator), gshtml for programs that work in an HTML-generation environment, gsweb for programs that work in a webserver environment, (which has less overlap with gshtml than it did 10 years ago), etc.

A ‘program calculus’, on the other hand, is simply a syntax for programs together with formal rules for manipulating (combining and transforming) them.  ‘Program’ here is a noun, not a verb.  The programs themselves (may be) machine-dependent (if they are full programs they will be; pieces of programs may be machine-independent), but the syntax and the rules for combining them needn’t be.  So calling something that’s machine- and environment-independent a ‘program calculus’ makes a lot more sense to me than calling it a ‘programming language’.

The term ‘program language’ (not ‘programming’) would make as much sense as ‘program calculus’, by the above argument.  I avoid it for three reasons:

  • It’s too similar to ‘programming language’, and I’m worried that people either wouldn’t grasp that there’s an intended distinction in usage or would slip into saying ‘programming language’ accidentally, so the distinction wouldn’t really be maintained.
  • ‘Program calculus’ sounds mathy, which makes it a good way of advertising Global Script’s mathy functional-programming allegiances.
  • Global Script has both a ‘program calculus’ and multiple ‘programming languages’, and the distinction between them.  So it’s not just that we want to use one term over another; we want to use both, with different meanings.  Making the two terms clearly different helps to maintain that difference in meaning.
  • The fact that IBIO, CORD, gsweb, gswebclient (for compiling to JS and running in the browser), gshtml, etc., are programming languages, not just ‘frameworks’ or ‘templating systems’, is important, and it’s one of the key ideas in Global Script that I think needs to be articulated and taken up by the larger community.

That last point is critical: IBIO, say, is a language, with a vocabulary, syntax, and grammar for describing text (primarily) I/O.  It’s one that needs to be designed, and it’s one that needs to be designed with language design principles in mind.  For far too long, new programming languages have come with I/O facilities cribbed off of every other language for the last 30 years, without any real thought being put into their design.  That needs to stop.

I/O is very hard to do in an elegant way in just about every language I know, mainly (I claim) because the language designer never thought through the use cases and tried to provide a good syntax for real I/O tasks.  Especially, compare doing I/O with doing string processing within the language: string processing has been given a great deal of thought, while I/O hasn’t.  I claim that’s why ‘read the entire file into memory (or into a lazy string) and process it there’ is such an attractive strategy for many programs: not because it makes any logical sense, but because it lets you use parts of the language that the language designer actually put some thought in to.

So by promoting the ‘frameworks’, ‘templating engines’, ‘libraries’, etc., that other languages use to interface with specific environments to full programming languages, I hope to inspire language designers to put more thought into them and maybe come up with some good designs (besides some of the designs for web frameworks and one or two of the templating systems, which are excellent), as well as putting much thought into those things myself and hopefully coming up with some ideas that can be adopted into more mainstream languages.

But of course, if IBIO is a ‘programming language’, and CORD is a ‘programming language’, and gsweb is a ‘programming language’, then calling their common subset a ‘programming language’ too is kind of confusing.  So I call it the ‘Global Script program calculus’ instead, and say that ‘IBIO, CORD, gsweb, etc. are all programming languages expressed in the Global Script program calculus’.

What is Global Script?

Global Script is my attempt to take everything we’ve learned about programming in the last 60 years, throw away all the legacy 10cruft, and say “what would programming look like if we re-designed it from scratch?”  It’s not intended to be a production system, but rather to develop ideas that can, hopefully, be incorporated into new versions of legacy languages.  I’m fully aware, though, that I need to actually implement those ideas before anyone else will take them very seriously!

To that end, Global Script has several major components:

  • The Global Script type-setting system.  This is what I originally wanted when I started work on this 10 years ago, and it gives the whole project it’s name.  Think ‘script as in PostScript, not script as in JavaScript’!
  • The Global Script program calculus.  This is what ties the whole thing together; ‘program calculus’ is the Global Script word for what everybody else calls a ‘programming language’.
  • The IBIO programming language.  IBIO is a DSL for writing Unix filters, but it’s really good at most ‘proper’ file I/O tasks.  It would probably be called a ‘framework’ in other languages.  Importantly, IBIO programs have their own type that distinguishes them from programs in other languages statically, so the type-system keeps you from inappropriate forms of mixing languages together.  However, Global Script will have ‘mixed’ languages that can call out to IBIO and another language, so you can write e.g. a reporting framework by calling CORD to get the data from the database and IBIO to write it to stdout.
  • The CORD programming language.  Another ‘framework’, this one is a DSL for relational database access.
  • Me ranting on various media about programming.