Meadowlark: Sheffield based computer consultancy

Programming tools we use

Prolog: programming in logic

Prolog is one of the most popular languages of the artificial intelligence community (despite its origins as a means to prove theorums). It is a high level language that is interpreted. A prolog program consists of facts and rules.

It was created by Alain Colmerauer and Philipe Roussel at the university of Marseilles, and was deemed to be so powerful that in 1981 the Institute for New Technolgy in Japan adopted it in their efforts to produce fifth generation computer hardware. As such it was anticipated that it would oust LISP and no doubt all other computer languages too. However, the ambitious plans of the ICOT were never realised, and prolog has not taken over the world.

I studied prolog as part of my MSc and found the prolog approach to programming intriguing and appealing.

What you can expect from computer hardware in the future?

1. Smaller faster, cheaper, lighter computers for the desktop.  They will be no larger than a DVD drive.  They will be silent, and run free software, and much of this will be web based.  They will use solid state disks, and large quantities of cheap memory.

2. More powerful mobile phones will largely replace traditional PCs.  The screens of mobiles will occupy as much of the phone as physicallly possible.  "Soft buttons will have largely replaced mechanical buttons in top of the range phones.

3. Sophisticated screen display technology will be available that will allow us to use bigger computer monitors in smaller less likely workplaces.

4. Micro-factories: places of work no bigger than a loft extension, where budding entrepreneurs labour in their free time "printing" products with 3D printers and selling their wares by the internet.