50 years ago Alain Colmerauer and his colleagues were working on Prolog 0:
“A draconian decision was made: at the cost of incompleteness, we chose linear resolution with unification only between the heads of clauses. Without knowing it, we had discovered the strategy that is complete when only Horn clauses are used.”[Colmerauer and Roussel, 2006]
With this system, and the idea of “metamorphosis grammars” (a generalization of what later became known as “definite clause grammars”), the team was able to implement a natural language man-machine communication system. The following year, the team released Prolog 1, the classic Marseille Prolog that quickly spread to Edinburgh, Leuven, Warsaw, Budapest, London, Waterloo, and beyond.
Now the friends of Alain Colmerauer are calling for 2022 to be “The Year of Prolog”. They’re marking the 50th anniversary with:
- An Alain COLMERAUER Prize awarded by an international jury for the most significant achievement in Prolog technology.
- A “Prolog School Bus” that will travel to reintroduce declarative programming concepts to the younger generation. This is a long-term initiative that will be initiated during the year. The purpose of this “Tour de France” (and elsewhere) will be to familiarize schoolchildren with Prolog, as they are already familiar with the Scratch language. At the end of this school caravan, a prize will be awarded to the ‘nicest’ Prolog program written by a student.
For more information, see: