In Domain Specific Languages ... I mentioned that task-oriented languages have been introduced quite early in factory automation. I have been responsible for factory automation software in Austria's largest industries in the 1980ies. We have developed off-line programming systems for machine tools, robots, automated loading, ... and flexible manufacturing systems that integrated them all.
We offered "Grasp Part", "Mill Pocket", .. constructs -that were interpreted- instead of "MoveTo(x,y,z,u,v,w)".
To transform higher-level languages into a representation for actions, we had algorithms for inverse kinematics, inverse dynamics, path builders and so on.
Today I read Stephen Wolfram's post Programming with Natural Language is Actually Going to Work. It is amazing. This goes much beyond my imagination.
In the 1980ies we did not have the technologies, to go further than our task-oriented, but still strictly formal, syntax. But, I need to confess, that I also did not have the knowledge on the principles of languages, beyond formal syntax and compiler techniques.
I am really deeply impressed about Wolfram's achievements. Congratulations!!!
It seems Mathematica in co-evolution with Wofram|Alpha will set a pace that will be difficult to be followed by competitors.
We will take the advantage of making our solutions more intelligent and intuitive. Happy to having selected Mathematica 20 years ago.