Why Conniving is Better than Plannng

Unknown author (1972-04-01)

This paper is a critique of a computer programming language, Carl Hewitts PLANNER, a formalism designed especially to cope with the problems that Artificial Intelligence encounters. It is our contention that the backtrack control structure that is the backbone of PLANNER is particular, automatic backtracking encourages inefficient algorithms, conceals what is happening from the user, and misleads him with primitives having powerful names whose power is only superficial. An alternative, a programming language called CONNIVER which avoids these problems, is presented from the point of view of this critique.