[Pharo-dev] good article on mainstream adoption of programming languages

kilon alios kilon.alios at gmail.com
Wed Apr 30 16:18:36 EDT 2014


I am sorry but again a big NO from me.

I am interested in two field, Graphics (2D and 3D) and music/audio
synthesis. Both of these fields are dominated by C/C++.

You could say is because of the fact that C/C++ is heavily optimised and of
course I would agree but its not that of a big reason because
a) other languages can use C/C++ libs
b) its possible to compile a language to C/C++. For example python has
cython , similar to Slang for Pharo. Take your language of choice outputs
optimised C/C++ that can get compiled and linked back to your favorite
language as a library.

Still the vast majority of coders code in C/C++ for these two fields. Why ?
Simple, libraries, tons of them. There is no way anyone would port all of
these libraries to Python let alone Pharo. Its not hard to use those
libraries from Python but people dont do it , its just more effort, and
because its simple just to do it on the language the lib is documented.

This is why also language popularity is highly heated discussion,
popularity highly fluctuates.


For example you go web dev Javascript is king, you leave web dev Javascript
becomes practically unknown. Enterprise ? Java is the undisputed king.
Windows development ? .NET and C++ hands down. How about iOS ? Objective C
without a doubt. Android ? Java again. Unix/Linux ? of course C/C++ and so
on so forth.

You could even say that languages prosper more when they pick a niche and
again the reason why that happens is because of course of libraries.
Afterall the language itself is rarely non general purpose. Its the
libraries that give the specialisation to the language.


On Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 10:55 PM, Johan Brichau <johan at inceptive.be> wrote:

>
> > Yet it worked like a charm because developers loved the fact that they
> had in their hand a huge monolithic platform that could satisfy their
> wildest dream as far as library support went through. And on top that
> platform was cross platform.
>
> Sounds like Smalltalk :-)
>
> Don't get me wrong: a language without libraries is like an OS without
> applications, but the point is that most of the unpopular languages have
> sufficient libraries. After doing Smalltalk for over 15 years, I still
> discover things inside the libraries that come with a standard image.
>
> And yes, some libraries will attract people: office libraries in .net, RoR
> in Ruby, etc...
>
> I think once sufficient libraries are present, an active community is more
> important (in the absence of large company backing) and libraries are a
> consequence.
>
> But hey, we should probably go have a beer over this ;-)
>
> Johan
>
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