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Programming Education

New Programming Languages Come From Designers 435

Posted by Soulskill
from the sprung-fully-formed-from-their-beards dept.
eldavojohn writes "A very lengthy and somewhat meandering essay from Crista Videira Lopes has sparked off some discussion of where new programming languages come from. She's writing from the viewpoint of academia, under the premise that new languages don't come from academia. And they've been steadily progressing outside of large companies (with the exception of Java and .NET) into the bedrooms and hobbies of people she identifies as 'designers' or 'lone programmers' instead of groups of 'researchers.' Examples include PHP by Rasmus Lerdorf, JavaScript by Brenden Eich, Python by Guido van Rossum and — of course — Ruby by Yukihiro Matsumoto. The author notes that, as we escape our computational and memory bounds that once plagued programming languages in the past and marred them with ultra efficient syntax in the name of hardware, our new languages are coming from designers with seemingly little worry about the budget CPU being able to handle a large project in the new language. The piece is littered with interesting assertions like 'one striking commonality in all modern programming languages, especially the popular ones, is how little innovation there is in them!' and 'We require scientific evidence for the claimed value of experimental drugs. Should we require scientific evidence for the value of experimental software?' Is she right? Is the answer to studying modern programming languages to quantify their design as she attempts in this post? Given the response of Slashdot to Google's Dart it would appear that something is indeed missing in coercing developers that a modern language has valid offerings worthy of their time."
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New Programming Languages Come From Designers

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @06:26AM (#39272965)

    All you need to create a good programming language is a beard. The more epic the beard, the better your language will be

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @06:34AM (#39273005)

    Relevant [khason.net].

  • by jholyhead (2505574) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @07:30AM (#39273235)
    You've never been to a Rails convention have you?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @07:43AM (#39273289)

    No. As a woman, I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to attend.

  • Re:Doomed (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @08:48AM (#39273673)

    The big advantage of C++ over C is resource management (using "RIAA").

    I think you meant RAII (resource acquisition is initialisation), also known as SBRM (scope-bound resource management). The RIAA would just disable all your copy constructors to stop copyright infringement.

  • by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @08:49AM (#39273681) Journal

    It was tried, but failed. It had no support for graphics, and stability and a lack of standardization were major problems.

    While the majority of programs ran reasonably fine, a significant minority would deliberately crash themselves and other applications. This instability is due to a feature by which Zombie Mohammed code ensures correctness. Unlike Catholic++, Zombie Mohammed certification is very decentralized, and has reached the point at which each individual program considers itself to be the sole arbiter of correctness. When a program encounters another that doesn't adhere perfectly to its own standards, it will attempt to crash it - which normally leads to both applications being killed. Although widely claimed that Zombie Mohammed code will only attack other languages, such as Borland's Turbo Presbyterian, the truth is that Zombie Mohammed code is far more likely to kill its kin than foreign languages.

    To this day, many Zombie Mohammed developers claim their language to be stable, and that crashing programs are the result of the language being distorted or misused. Oddly enough though, the "stable" developers seem unable to explain exactly how the rogue developers' code is a misuse of the language, and are slow in condemning their actions. Even now in developed nations that have discarded archaic languages, criticism of these outdated languages attracts threats of violence - with many people and publications opting for self-censorship. Zombie Mohammed is gaining popularity in Europe, which some have likened to the idiocy of buying a top of the range modern PC in order to run Windows 3.11. Sensitivities considered, it would be a good idea if the immigration process would encourage those who wish to use modern languages. It doesn't mean that use of Zombie Mohammed in Europe should be prohibited - more than immigrants must understand that Zombie Mohammed is just one of many languages in use, and that it shall not be protected from criticism or ridicule. Really, how can they expect no criticism when they use a dysfunctional programming requiring an interpreter?

    The language remains popular in some parts of the world considered socially backwards and unsophisticated, where pretty much anything is an excuse for a flag burning angry mob. Whether Zombie Mohammed is a cause or a symptom of social retardation is unclear, and certainly such issues are not restricted to this language. One of the largest and most developed countries uses JC (albeit in thousands of variations), yet there is regular in-fighting between various schools of JC developers, and antics that baffle the rest of the developed world, such as JC developers trying to have a programing language taught in religious ed. Thankfully thus far religious leaders have presented a united front in claiming that computer programming is more suited to science than to religious education.

  • Re:Doomed (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @11:04AM (#39274871)

    There is a reason I use LISP when I'm doing natural language processing.

    Is it for the irony? Because I'd totally do it for the irony.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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