Barbara Liskov, professor at MIT, presented an IT-history-based keynote at QCon, called “The Power of Abstraction”. It was fun and painful to be reminded of the IT topics of 70s:
- Top-down structural design
- Abstract data types
- Algol, Simula, CLU
Specifically, her work on CLU, a programming language used mainly for research, with its concepts of inheritance, polymorphism, iterators, multiple return values, explicit type casting and exception handling have influenced the development of OOP and popular languages like Java and Python amongst others. Graham Lee has collected all documents referenced in the talk in his post.
Barbara Liskov is the second woman to receive the Turing Award (2008).
Above is the content map of the presentation created by Heather Willems in parallel to the keynote.