Graceful Enhancement

Matt Wolf and I were walking from our hotel to IDF 2011 this morning and we were talking about various architectures and what we each preferred. Matt described his perception and I said that sounds like graceful enhancement and he said that was a great name for it. It was a great mutually derived word that may be more a candidate for general usage than Colbert's truthiness.

Matt and I both teach the notion of graceful degradation in our software engineering courses. The creators of hardware and software will ensure that their planned functionality is present. Graceful enhancement means unanticipated desires somehow are possible. To me, Scheme is a language that best lends itself to graceful enhancement, especially since the bulk of the language is implemented in terms of itself. There is little to Scheme outside of lambda expressions.

We started talking about this as a result of longing for features in a chip with 40+ cores. Matt and I wanted to different theings. He wanted low level middleware/compiler hooks. I wanted low level user level hooks. We both agreed that having the hardware do the the bulk of the heavy lifting for the general useful is a very good thing. A system with Graceful Enhancement will support those special cases where tools and/or users want to exert control of something like of data among cores.
For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.
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