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Discussion of the Essence# programming language, and related issues and technologies.

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Computing, Sudoku-style


Radul envisioned a new type of computer system that would handle multidirectional information flow automatically. Indeed, not only would it pass information forward and backward through stages of a multistage process, but it would pass data laterally, too: The results of one stage could be fed into, say, two others, which would attack a problem from different directions simultaneously, reconciling their answers before passing them on to the next stage. At that point, the stages of a process wouldn’t really be stages at all, but computational modules that could be arranged in parallel or in series, like elements in an electrical circuit. Programmers would simply specify how each module was connected to those around it, and the system would automatically pass information around until it found solutions that satisfied the constraints imposed by all the modules.
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