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Programming IT Technology

What Makes a Powerful Programming Language? 1332

Posted by Cliff
from the blueprints-for-next-generation-computing dept.
A not-so Anonymous Coward queries: "My company is about to start development on a new project, and I have to decide on a language and development environment. My boss gave me a set of criteria which needs to be filled: intuitive and easy to use IDE; simplified GUI design and event handling; advanced error handling; advanced object oriented design including multiple inheritance, abstract classes, and garbage collection; full support for operator and function overloading; and portable (at compile-time) across various platforms. I have already looked at C++, Java, C++, C#, Eiffel, and even VB.net; I may be missing something but as far as I can tell all of these languages are missing something from this list. Is there a language available that has all of these features? I thought that someone from Slashdot would be able to point me in the right direction?" If you were to design a language from the ground up, what features would you include and why?
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What Makes a Powerful Programming Language?

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  • by mrroot (543673) on Monday February 11, 2002 @05:34PM (#2989505)
    You know, Pure Fcking Magic
  • by Twister002 (537605) on Monday February 11, 2002 @05:36PM (#2989534) Homepage
    built in "DoThis" command. That parses out any english language command and does it.
    e.g. DoThis("securely connect to the database and return the data on the user"

    or DoThis("delete all spam from my inbox")

    or maybe even this DoThis("Prevent this comment from getting modded down by some jackass")

  • Fantasy (Score:5, Funny)

    by NiftyNews (537829) on Monday February 11, 2002 @05:40PM (#2989598) Homepage
    "If you were to design a language from the ground up, what features would you include and why?"

    Since we're in a complete fantasy realm here where all of use have the brainpower, patience, trust fund, and buckets of countless free hours required to even BEGIN such a task...

    ...can I have a pony?
  • by Spankophile (78098) on Monday February 11, 2002 @05:41PM (#2989607) Homepage
    Except I have the added requirement that the language must have an IDE that accepts voice dictation and can create the program for me.

    I think it's the same language that they use to program the holodeck.

    "Computer, make me a map of all the known last locations of Romulan war ships."

    Hmmm. almost looks like AppleScript.
  • by igrek (127205) on Monday February 11, 2002 @05:45PM (#2989666)
    It's strange that your boss has so many requirements for the language but yet he didn't want chose the language himself.

    You have the difficult choice to buy a car in any color, provided the color is black.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2002 @05:53PM (#2989826)
    Trying to use as many language features as possible is a common pitfall when programming in modern day languages.

    No, it's not a mistake. It's called job security

    If you try to use multiple inheritance, operator overloading etc. just because you can, you will end up with an unreadable, unmaintainable, undebuggable mess.

    Sounds like a perfect recipe for a long-term career in code maintenance.
  • by g1zmo (315166) on Monday February 11, 2002 @05:57PM (#2989873) Homepage
    I have already looked at
    C++, Java, C++, C#, Eiffel, and even VB.net
    Wonder which way he's leaning?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2002 @06:03PM (#2989932)
    Most of those requirements does not make sense, they seem to be pure buzzwords bullshit by your boss

    Exactly right! While reading the long requirement list, I was expecting the last one to be:

    "and a cute animated assistant to help us find our way through the features."
  • by Graspee_Leemoor (302316) on Monday February 11, 2002 @06:07PM (#2989979) Homepage Journal
    If Larry Wall is God, does that make Heidi Jesus?

    I really got to get out more.

    graspee

  • by mr_death (106532) on Monday February 11, 2002 @06:11PM (#2990023)
    ... the MCF (Mongolian Cluster Fsck), which sadly occurs when a committee gets together to decide things.
  • by felipeal (177452) on Monday February 11, 2002 @06:11PM (#2990035) Homepage
    Anonymous Coward wrote:

    Most of those requirements does not make sense, they seem to be pure buzzwords bullshit by your boss

    Exactly right! While reading the long requirement list, I was expecting the last one to be:

    "and a cute animated assistant to help us find our way through the features."

    See, that's the problem with AC posting: it was a funny reply moded down to -1...
    (I hope this one does not have the same fate :)
  • by ari_j (90255) on Monday February 11, 2002 @06:12PM (#2990041)
    If a solitary programmer decides Prolog is his favorite language, he is working on his PhD and never intends to leave academia and get a "real job". And your "What if" question is moot: Nobody else does know Prolog. ;-D
  • by Graspee_Leemoor (302316) on Monday February 11, 2002 @06:19PM (#2990108) Homepage Journal
    "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

    I find the other way round true:

    "When all you have is nails, anything starts to look like a hammer".

    That's why my Swiss Army knife has dents in the side of it anyway...

    graspee

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2002 @06:36PM (#2990290)
    Perl!

    Whenever anyone asks you what language is best to write a program in, smile, and say "Perl".

  • Re:Simple. (Score:5, Funny)

    by curunir (98273) on Monday February 11, 2002 @06:51PM (#2990445) Homepage Journal
    For this reason, the language I'd suggest is English. It is entirely compliant with every buzz word listed above and is the only language guaranteed to be compatible with every future over hyped technology.

    It does have a couple of down sides tho...compilers cannot be purchased, only hired. Also, the compilation process can be time consuming depending on the skill of your compilers.

    However the ability to have your product planning team create the .fsd files and pass them directly to the compiler is a big plus.

    Oh...and it is also fairly simple for a trained engineer to port English programs to languages such as French, Spanish, Russian or even Japanese!
  • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Monday February 11, 2002 @06:53PM (#2990462) Homepage
    why is your boss specifying language features rather than project design goals?

    Because he can...

  • by ramanujan (98117) on Monday February 11, 2002 @07:02PM (#2990552)
    It's like walking into Home Depot and asking the contractor's desk, "Excuse me! What's the best tool?"

    ;)
  • by T3kno (51315) on Monday February 11, 2002 @07:45PM (#2990865) Homepage
    Would most definately have to be Brainf*ck [catseye.mb.ca]. I really think it fits the bill for what you are looking for. It has great OO support, and is extremely easy to learn. The code you will create with it is tight and fast, and the possibilities are endless with what you can do with it.

    Take for example the following chunk of bf code:


    >+++++++++[<++++++++>-]<.>++++++[&l t;+++++>-]<-.+++++++..++
    +.
    >>+++++++[<++++++>-]+.>++++++++++.

    That code is a complete program, and will actually print out..."Hello, World!" can you believe it? In only 4 lines? Surely you jest? I can honestly tell you the answer is no, and dont call me Shirly. There are even rumors of bf supporting .NET with the upcoming * operator in version 6. Check it out, you wont be sorry.
  • by Cardhore (216574) on Monday February 11, 2002 @08:26PM (#2991160) Homepage Journal
    I'd rather have:
    (/ (+ (exp a b) e) (* c (+ d (+ b (+ a b)))))

    :)
  • by namespan (225296) <namespan@RABBITe ... minus herbivore> on Monday February 11, 2002 @08:39PM (#2991233) Journal
    <I>what is the best religion?</I>

    Dear Slashdot,

    My boss gave me the assignment to find the best religion. Some requirements that he gave me are:

    <UL>
    <LI>Should keep one from everlasting suffering and torment in next life
    <LI>Should help one eventually pass to nirvana-like existence, eternal increase and well-being, perhaps even an all-powerful/omniscient state
    <LI> Should help one to acheive balance, peace of mind, and a strong feeling of being alive within this imperfect world
    <LI> Should enable the occasional performance of miracles when called for
    <LI> Should improve behavior of followers (make them charitable and courteous but zealous in good causes), and help them improve the world
    <LI> Should have limited numbers of flawed adherents
    <LI> Should have a consitent theology that makes total sense to rational minds and mystics alike, yet is accesable to the common man
    <LI> Should provide insurance against armageddon-like scenarios
    <LI> Should have a finite (yea, even small) set of clear, detailed, and consistent directions for acheiving all positive results (Goedel's theorem notwithstanding). Not to mention avoiding bad results.
    <LI> Should be in line with the will of the universe's most powerful entity.
    </UL>

    I've looked at Christianity (Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Melkite, Coptic, Protestants of several stripes), Islam, Buddhism, Hindu-ish faiths, and primitive animism, Kibology, Shirley Maclain, Scientology, Wiccan groups, secular humanism, and both U.S. political parties, but they all seem to be missing something. Can you point me in the right direction?

  • by Jagasian (129329) on Monday February 11, 2002 @09:14PM (#2991460)
    Ok guys, I need help finding a car for a biz project that my company is working on. My boss says that the car must have the following features: side panel wood trim, a hatch back, 60-inch wheels, a blue stick shift, firestone tires, a fiberglass bumber, and oh yeah, to be hip with the latest trends, it has to be a SUV. I am just having so much trouble finding a car that has all of these features.
  • by John Jorsett (171560) on Monday February 11, 2002 @10:16PM (#2991847)
    Materials engineers call the equivalent thing in their field 'unobtainium,' I believe.
  • by Ozx (529611) on Monday February 11, 2002 @11:40PM (#2992138) Homepage
    Try finding a buffer overflow in OCaml without telling the compiler to disregard safety...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2002 @11:50PM (#2992185)
    You are all clearly too weak to understand the greatness of Perl, the magic Camel that lives in the Cave in the land called Hon'a'lee, and Perl::Tk
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @04:30AM (#2992947)

    My boss gave me the assignment to find the best religion. Some requirements that he gave me are:
    • Should keep one from everlasting suffering and torment in next life
    • Should help one eventually pass to nirvana-like existence, eternal increase and well-being, perhaps even an all-powerful/omniscient state
    • Should help one to acheive balance, peace of mind, and a strong feeling of being alive within this imperfect world
    • Should enable the occasional performance of miracles when called for
    • Should improve behavior of followers (make them charitable and courteous but zealous in good causes), and help them improve the world
    • Should have limited numbers of flawed adherents
    • Should have a consitent theology that makes total sense to rational minds and mystics alike, yet is accesable to the common man
    • Should provide insurance against armageddon-like scenarios
    • Should have a finite (yea, even small) set of clear, detailed, and consistent directions for acheiving all positive results (Goedel's theorem notwithstanding). Not to mention avoiding bad results.
    • Should be in line with the will of the universe's most powerful entity.
    I've looked at Christianity (Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Melkite, Coptic, Protestants of several stripes), Islam, Buddhism, Hindu-ish faiths, and primitive animism, Kibology, Shirley Maclain, Scientology, Wiccan groups, secular humanism, and both U.S. political parties, but they all seem to be missing something. Can you point me in the right direction?
    Except for the bit about improving the behavior of its followers, your requirements are best satisfied by worshiping... money!

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