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Myśliciel A.Rodin

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A new shape of user manuals

Denotational models should provide an opportunity for the revision of current practices seen in the manuals of programming languages. New practices should on one hand base on denotational models but on the other ? do not assume that today's readers are acquainted with them. A manual should provide some basic knowledge and notation needed to understand the definition of a programming language written in a new style. At the same time — I strongly believe that — it should be written for professional programmers rather than for amateurs. The role of a manual is not to teach the skills of programming. Such textbooks are, of course, necessary, but they should tell the readers what the programming is about rather than the technicalities of a concrete language.

An experiment in writing a user manual of Lingua is described in a paper available from the site On writing user manuals of programming languages.