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Submission + - Programming Language 'Clinical Trials'?

theodp writes: High school junior Charles Dawson's New Year resolution is to write a new program in different language each week. It's an ambitious project for someone of any age, and while it won't give him an in-depth appreciation of programming language differences, it'll certainly give him greater insight into the strengths of certain languages than would perusing the Hello World Wikipedia article. Lots of claims are made about the comparative productivity of programming languages, but have there been any landmark studies that measure the efficacy of a programming language's productivity claims in a 'clinical trial' of sorts? Would head-to-head tests against other languages be a better way of sorting out Popularity vs Productivity vs Performance claims, or is relying on more nebulous claims of superiority (e.g., "It's not a single aspect of Go that makes it a compelling choice, but rather the careful organization of well-crafted small pieces.") the best we can do?
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Programming Language 'Clinical Trials'?

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