Thomas 'PointedEars' Lahn wrote:

Mike Duffy wrote:
>Michael Wojcik wrote:
>>[...] Any TC language can compute a (computable) result from

input, and Javascript has provisions for both prompting and taking

input from the user.

I agree. But I do need to ask what TC stands for.

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing-complete>, I presume.

Yes. I'm really using the term informally (much as big-O notation for

algorithmic complexity gets thrown around in comp.* groups in ways

that aren't quite kosher), to mean "any language that's roughly

equivalent to other general-purpose programming languages".

In their ideal form, general-purpose programming languages have all

the constructs they need to express the algorithms that a Turing

machine can compute. That's not exactly what "Turing-complete" means,

but it's pretty close. (In practice, real-world implementations of

programming languages are limited by real-world computers, which have

finite storage and execution time, so they're really equivalent to

bounded Turing machines, which are equivalent to push-down automata,

which are not Turing-complete. But we generally ignore that detail.)

But for shorthand purposes we say "a Turing-complete language" to mean

a programming language that lets us loop through states, and choose

the next state based on input or a stored value, and store values, and

select among stored values.

--

Michael Wojcik

Micro Focus

Rhetoric & Writing, Michigan State University