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Tue Aug 25 17:33:50 CEST 2009

What is a continuation?

That's the down-to-earth bit-twiddler's ``is''..

A continuation is essentially (a representation of) an imperative
program that sequences the remaining primitive machine operations to
perform to complete the current program/evaluation.  The side effect
of this imperative program is the evaluation of the expression it
represents.

Obvious if you look at what CPS-conversion does: it translate a
functional program written in terms of nested expressions, into an
imperative program that incrementally builds and updates a data
structure.

Now, this becomes really obvious in a concatenative (point-free)
language, which already is in CPS form.  The continuation is
essentially a program in the same form as any other program.



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