programming is a kind of declarative programming. Specifically,
where you say what conditions
constitute the solution of problem, rather than the laying out
steps or algorithms by which you get to it. Deng
Xiaoping had a saying for it. A bit like assessing weather
conditions for sailing, or evaluating
economic indicators when deciding central bank policy, these
conditions come in the form of restrictions on the interrelationships
of a carefully
selected set of variables which model the computing problem.
There are various Java libraries to help write applications that use
this idiom, like Choco,
or Constrainer, to name
but two, and there's growing interest
in this style of computing.
So it was good to see yesterday the JCP give the go ahead to
develop a standard Java
API for constraint programming.