Sci/Tech Why Do Some Programming Languages Live and Others Die?

tom_mai78101

The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
Staff member
Google wants to change the way the world writes software. In recent years, the search giant has unveiled two new programming languages that seek to improve on some of the most widely used languages on the planet.

With a language called Go, it seeks to give the world a replacement for the venerable languages C and C++, providing a more nimble means of building really big software platforms inside data centers. And with Dart, it hopes to replace JavaScript, improving the way we build software that's run in our web browsers.

But no matter how impressive these new languages are, you have to wonder how long it will take them to really catch on - if they do at all. After all, new programming languages arrive all the time. But few ever reach a wide audience.

At Princeton and the University of California at Berkeley, two researchers are trying to shed some light on why some programming languages hit the big time but most others don't. In what they call a "side project," Leo Meyerovich and Ari Rabkin have polled tens of thousands of programmers, and they're combing through over 300,000 computing projects at the popular code repository SourceForge - all in an effort to determine why old languages still reign supreme.

Read more here.

Interesting read.
 

Accname

2D-Graphics enthusiast
My guess is that the spaceships in the next century will still be programmed with C and/or C++.
The language is there, it works, has been used, is getting older and therefor more documented and more open source code is piling up.
Thats whats important for scripting languages. At the end you can use any of them to do the job, but C/C++/etc are all "well known" and have all the resources easily available. Thats the big plus here.
 

seph ir oth

Mod'n Dat News Jon
Staff member

Dan

The New Helper.Net gives me great Anxiety... o.O;;
Google+ is in beta still

The Android market is pretty big ya know... You very well could see Google+ become extremely popular soon...

I hope it does, because it is really cool imo.
 

Slapshot136

Divide et impera
they may eventually, but just about every other language is based off of c/c++, so once you learn those you can learn whatever you need easily, and people are slow to change - it still works for just about everything

also the qwerty keyboard is amazing in how a keyboard that was designed with the purpose of slowing down typing is still being used more than something like a Dvorak layout

(bad joke: first day of keyboarding class, a student says "I noticed the keys were all out of order, so I re-ordered them in alphabetical order - do I get extra credit for that?")
 

rover2341

Is riding a roller coaster...Wee!
haha. Checked out Dvorak layout. very interesting. But biggest issue with wpm is my spelling. i always hitting back space.
 

Darthfett

Super Mod
I think Google has made some intelligent decisions in regards to the design of Go. It's concurrent, which is definitely where the future is headed (parallel-processing). There's not a whole lot of languages that are in this category (the only ones I've even heard of are Scala, Ada, and Clojure), and many of those are functional (I've not seen many industry-standard functional languages).

However, I'm not currently expecting it to become the new standard. All the current standards are long in-the-running, far too back for me to know how they became standard. I expect there is some heavy reinforcement from industry, which aren't going to be rewriting their codebases anytime soon. Java provides an interesting compromise, however. With all the newer languages that can run on the JVM and thus interact with existing Java code (Scala and Clojure both being in this list), there's room for new development as well as working with existing codebases.

I haven't heard much on Dart, but with the amount of resources JavaScript has built up, I don't expect Dart to be much, despite some of the flaws of JavaScript it intends to overcome (IMO the biggest is weak-typing).
 

Accname

2D-Graphics enthusiast
if Google made it easy to write android apps for example in GO, it might catch on faster
Thats true.
Google has the android market, they can use this to their advantage to push their own scripting language.
But its hard to imagine how they would do so, because it would make the language itself less attractive for non-android projects if its focused on android systems.
 
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